It’s been a busy week for 2016 Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais after his antics at this year’s prestigious award show were all anybody could talk about.
The British funny man has been a massive success in the States for a number of years now and has hosted the famous event four times in total. Each year, he makes headlines – and this year was no different.
He pretended that he thought Eddie Redmayne was female from his performance as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl. He speculated over Jeffrey Tambor’s testicle antics in American TV series Transparent. He even had a very awkward exchange with his Golden Globes arch enemy Mel Gibson.
However, it’s his quip while opening the ceremony, that everyone has been talking about, in which he explained how he’d changed a lot in the past year, “but not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously.”
This was followed by a short pause and then some laughter from the audience, before they were hit with the follow up… “She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can’t have everything, can ya?”
The above joke was in reference to the car accident caused by Jenner in February, in which a woman was killed.
However, it didn’t take long for social media users to hop online and brand Gervais as “transphobic”, as hundreds of people took to the platform to unleash a tirade of abuse at him in order to defend Caitlyn Jenner and the transgender community.
Ricky Gervais is back as Golden Globes host, and it took about 3.2 seconds for a bigoted trash joke. Deadnaming Caitlyn Jenner. 🚮🚮🚮
— Erika Sorensen (@eiridescent) January 11, 2016
— Kevin Allred (@KevinAllred) January 11, 2016
There are a billionty great Caitlyn Jenner jokes. Calling her "Bruce" isn't one of them.
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) January 11, 2016
Ricky Gervais didn't get the memo that he should have left the trans jokes back in the last century (when they weren't funny either)
— Doree Shafrir (@doree) January 11, 2016
However, in classic Gervais style, he provided a response of his own in the form of a series of posts – in which he tweeted that: “Suggesting a joke about Caitlin Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist.”
Later on in the evening, he went on to tweet, “I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I’m #TransportPhobic.”
I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I'm #TransportPhobic.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 12, 2016
With the shit storm currently raging on in the social media world, let’s not forget that NBC repeatedly book Gervais to host the ceremony so he can insult A-list celebrities. Is Ricky really to blame for sticking to his word, or did he actually go too far?
The internet is quickly becoming a place crawling with hypersensitive people latching onto any agenda that makes them feel like a pillar of justice, while those who have genuine issues and want to do something about them are instantly drowned out.
I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings, and yes, this is sarcasm.