Ricky Gervais, the 62-year-old comedian, recently had his special Armageddon premiere on Netflix. However, viewers are extremely upset with the Netflix program, with many citing his use of ableist slurs as being offensive.
This has resulted in a petition which, as of this writing, has reached nearly 5,000 signatures. As noted by the petition, Ricky Gervais makes a joke during his special centered around the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Eventually, he refers to children with cancer “baldies,” and continues to taunt them:
“Why didn’t you wish to get better? What, are you f***ing r*****ed as well?”
Users on X were rather disappointed with the offensive words used and the overall decision to make fun of terminally ill children on his Netflix special. Here are some of the responses they shared on social media:
for a man who profited so heavily from a tv programme that had cancer as a central plot point this feels really weird https://t.co/YDZyHVuZvy
— bee (@phoebeevans77) December 4, 2023
This is the most vile attempt at “comedy” I’ve ever seen. Sick and dying children wish for a video from him, and he mocks them like this? Shame on you @rickygervais. Children fighting for their life are NO laughing matter. I have no respect for this man. https://t.co/wgK4fs6IPA
— Book of Momma (@BookofMomma6) December 3, 2023
“We wish we were surprised by reports that @RickyGervais has used ableist slurs in his new @Netflix special,” they begin. “Language like this has consequences. And we’re just not accepting the explanation that Gervais uses to try and justify this language.”
Scope continues their statement in a thread:
“He argues that he wouldn’t use this language in ‘real-life’. But his stand-up routine doesn’t exist in a parallel universe. The stage is real. Netflix is real. The people this kind of language impacts are real.”
The charity adds that “disabled people already face negative attitudes, and the media has an enormous role to play in improving understanding. ‘Joking’ about this kind of language trivialises it. It risks normalising the abuse that many disabled people face on a day-to-day basis.”
They conclude their statement with the following:
“It’s frustrating that we are once again having to call out a public figure for using this kind of harmful language. But we need to be absolutely clear that this kind of language isn’t acceptable.”
Language like this has consequences.
And we’re just not accepting the explanation that Gervais uses to try and justify this language 🧵 1/4
— Scope (@scope) December 5, 2023
Stay tuned to ScreenGeek for any additional updates regarding Ricky Gervais and his Netflix special Armageddon, currently streaming, as we have them.