Comedian Ricky Gervais is facing backlash for his jokes that were deemed transphobic. This controversy comes just a few weeks before he is set to host the 77th annual Golden Globes Awards - his fifth time hosting the awards show. The comedian, who’s known for his sarcastic, satirical, and oftentimes controversial humor has gotten himself in hot water again with his jokes that some fans believe went too far.

Gervais is currently wrapped up in the J.K. Rowling scandal. The Harry Potter author tweeted her support for a British tax expert and researcher, Maya Forstater, who lost her job because of what was considered transphobic comments. In March, Forstater’s employer opted not to renew her contract after she had tweeted a series of tweets aimed at transgender people saying that “men cannot change their biological sex.” The beloved author took her side by tweeting that no woman should be terminated for a job for having online opinions. Backlash hit Rowling hard this last Thursday as people were furious with her stance of protecting a woman who blatantly disregarded the feelings of the transgender community. That’s when inherently politically-incorrect comedian Gervais entered the controversy.

According to People, Gervais commented on a satirical article about the Rowling controversy written in the “perspective” of a transgender woman from Spectator USA. The article mocked the people outraged by Forastater’s stance. Gervais then retweeted it and added the comment, “Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.” The comment sparked outrage as fans were calling him transphobic. However, Gervais claimed that the original tweet was just a joke, saying, “Ah, you’ve confused a joke tweet to a spoof account with my true feelings.” And replied to a fan questioning what Gervais has “against men looking after their good mental health.” In which he answered, “But to answer your question I have nothing against anyone looking after their mental health. Be well.” Gervais’ full tweet and replies can be seen below:

One fan commented on the tweet, saying, “I’m glad you find such levity in this. However transphobia does REAL harm to REAL kids. Perhaps consider that?” In which, Gervais replied, “I do. I also make jokes about AIDS, Cancer, Famine and The Holocaust. Those things do a bit of harm too. But jokes don’t. Have a nice day.” Another fan wrote, “You are so f*cking gross.” In which Gervais commented back, “Just checking you realize my tweet was sarcasm. Not a problem either way, but I don’t want you to look silly.” It was in November that Gervais was announced that he would be hosting the upcoming 77th annual Golden Globes, which would make it the comedians’ fifth time hosting the awards.

Gervais leaving comments on highly sensitive issues with jokes that were deemed transphobic could cause him to be removed from being the host this year. Especially after the 2019 Academy Awards announced that comedian Kevin Hart would step down because of tweets that he made that were deemed homophobic, and the show proceeded the ceremony without a host. With only a few weeks before the Globes - in which Gervais would become the record holder for being the performer to host the Golden Globes the most times - fans would think that given the Hart scandal, Gervais would be on his best behavior.

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Watch the 77th annual Golden Globes Awards live on Sunday, January 5th at 8pm EST on NBC.

Source: People, Ricky Gervais