Ricky Gervais doesn’t mind if you’re offended, as long as you’re offended for the right reasons. The 73rd annual Golden Globes host received a lot of criticism for his joke about trans activist and Olympian Caitlyn Jenner on Sunday’s show, but he thinks the response is misplaced.
“I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed. Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course,” Gervais said during his opening monologue. “What a year she’s had. 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 …”
Some viewers immediately labeled the joke as “transphobic,” which Gervais, 54, disputed on Twitter on Tuesday, January 12.
“Suggesting a joke about Caitlin [sic] Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist,” he tweeted.
When one viewer argued that Gervais was mocking Jenner’s transition, he replied, “But it WAS Bruce Jenner who changed. Into Caitlyn Jenner. And I respect that. Just not her driving.”
He went on to clarify: “I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I’m #TransportPhobic.”
The January 10 show marked Gervais’ fourth as host, and no star was off limits. He mocked everyone from Mel Gibson to Ben Affleck, even singling out some stars in the audience like Jennifer Lawrence.
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