Comedian Ricky Gervais is fighting back against allegations that he was “transphobic” after making a joke about Caitlyn Jenner during his hosting stint at Golden Globes.
The outspoken Brit, 54, opened the Hollywood ceremony with a gag about the retired Olympian, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, who transitioned from male to female last year, reported Los Angeles Times.
Gervais was discussing how much he had changed since he last hosted the Globes in 2012, when he quipped, “Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course.”
“What a year she’s had!” he continued. “She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down arriers and destroying stereotypes.”
“She didn’t do a lot for women drivers,” he added, referring to the fatal multi-car crash Kim Kardashian’s stepfather was involved in back in February (15), before he went public with his new female persona. “But you can’t have everything. Not at the same time.”
The joke was well-received by the star-studded crowd, but some viewers were not happy with the jab and blasted Gervais on social media.
The ongoing backlash prompted the funnyman to defend his sense of humour in a series of posts on Twitter, insisting his joke was harmless.
“Suggesting a joke about Caitlin Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist. In the future, everyone will be offended by me for 15 minutes. You have every right to be offended. Just don’t cry when no one cares,” he tweeted.
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“Do people not realise that when they say they are offended by a joke it makes that joke even funnier for the rest of us?” he asked hours later.
“If jokes caused the easily offended to bleed internally, I’d do more stand up.”