Ricky Gervais Says Celebrities Complaining About Isolation Need To Focus On ‘Selfless’ Frontline Workers
Ricky Gervais has taken aim at celebrities complaining about the throes of isolation amid the global outbreak: ‘I just don’t want to hear it.’
The Office and After Life star has never been one for mincing his words, with a tendency to critique and mock the elite’s illusions of grandeur during times of concern, crisis or public unrest.
The 58-year-old’s net worth is estimated at more than $100 million. While he too lives in some degree of luxury, Gervais learned that ‘friends, nature, learning and healthcare’ were the best things growing up.
In an interview with The Sun ahead of After Life‘s second season dropping on Netflix, Gervais recounted his youth and why it irks him to see high-profile, well-off celebs airing their struggles as the virus’ numbers surge around the world.
After this is over I never want to hear people moaning about the welfare state again, I never want to hear people moaning about nurses again. Or porters.
These people are doing 14-hour shifts and not complaining. Wearing masks, and being left with sores, after risking their own health and their families’ health selflessly. But then I see someone complaining about being in a mansion with a swimming pool. And, you know, honestly, I just don’t want to hear it.
He hastened to add with a laugh that he doesn’t ‘go out much anyway, and there’s always too much booze in the house. It’s always been the 6pm watershed for as long as I remember. Obviously, I am looking at the watch.’
Gervais’ respect for frontline workers stems from his childhood, with his labourer dad working on building sites ‘all his life’ while his mum was a carer. ‘When my dad finished his work that was his own time. But my mum didn’t stop working, women didn’t stop working. Carers didn’t stop working, all the women in my family were carers in some respect,’ he said.
I had no money growing up, I didn’t have any until I was 40. But I still had everything. My mum, she gardened, she grew, she cooked, she sewed, she knitted, she decorated, she did everything she could. And she gave me everything I wanted except money.
I also realised growing up that all the best things were free – friends, nature, learning and healthcare. And that’s why I gladly pay my taxes. And that’s why I clap the NHS.
Gervais has often been called out for his material, but as always, he’s unfazed by such complaints. ‘Everything is up for grabs, it’s how we do it. I have always said there’s never a subject that you shouldn’t talk about or joke about. It just depends what the joke is. And people get offended when they mistake the subject of the joke with the actual target,’ he explained.
The second season of After Life premieres on Netflix on April 24 (check out the trailer here), so go watch the first season if you haven’t already – you won’t regret it.
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