Ricky Gervais Slams Cancel Culture Again, Compares It To Road Rage
Ricky Gervais has slammed cancel culture once again, as he noted even the most ‘politically correct stand-up in the world’ doesn’t know what’s going to be considered appropriate in 10 years’ time.
A number of high-profile people have been subject to or threatened with the prospect of being cancelled over the years, whether because of a newly-shared opinion or something they said or did years ago that has been brought back into the spotlight.
The Office and After Life star Gervais has long been open about his thoughts on cancel culture, previously describing it as a ‘weird sort of fascism’. He addressed the topic again this week when he appeared on the podcast SmartLess with hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, where he questioned the very notion of being ‘cancelled’.
As someone in the spotlight, Gervais noted that being cancelled has the ability to impact the person’s livelihood as ‘if you say the wrong thing… suddenly Netflix can take you off their platform’.
You could be the most woke, politically correct stand-up in the world at the moment, but you don’t know what it’s going to be like in 10 years time. You can get cancelled for things you said 10 years ago.
Gervais pointed out that he’s not against holding people accountable for their actions, but he is against people attempting to push their opinions on others and turn them into a widespread trend.
As members of society, he explained that ‘people are allowed to criticise you’, to ‘not buy your things’ and ‘turn the telly off’, but they should not be allowed to ‘bully other people into not going to see you’.
The actor likened cancel culture to ‘road rage’ as the rise of social media has allowed criticisms to get out much faster, in comparison to the letter-writing campaigns of the past.
Some of it’s down to politics. Some of it’s down to social media. Twenty years ago, if you were offended by someone on television you got a pen and paper and you went, ‘Dear BBC…’ Now you fire off a tweet and that tweet goes on the f*cking news.
It’s things happening too fast that you can’t take back. People dig in and people want to be heard.
People want to feel they have an effect. It’s why people heckle a comedian. They want to feel they were there. Now people are heard.
Gervais asked the hosts what it meant to be cancelled, asking, ‘And what can they do to me? Who’s gonna cancel me? Twitter? YouTube? If I have to, I’ll go to Hyde Park and stand up on a bench and shout sh*t.’
Gervais has been subject to criticism in the past for his stand-up jokes and controversial 2020 Golden Globes speech.
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