British comedian Ricky Gervais just spoke out to blast cancel culture and “outrage mobs,” saying that they would make it impossible for him to ever make his hit show “The Office” today.
During an interview with Times Radio on Friday, Gervais said that if “The Office” was made today, many audience members would take it too “literally,” despite the fact that the show was “clearly ironic.”
“Now [the show] would suffer because people would take things literally. There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context,” Gervais explained. “This was a show about everything — it was about difference, it was about sex, race, all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now, in case they say the wrong thing and they are canceled.”
He went on to add that the BBC, which is funded by British taxpayers, has become “more and more careful” about making sure there is political correctness in their comedy.
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“People want to keep their jobs, so would worry about some of the subjects and jokes, even though they were clearly ironic and we were laughing at this buffoon being uncomfortable around difference,” Gervais said. “I think if this was put out now, some people have lost their sense of irony and context.”
The 59 year-old comedic actor lamented the fact that there is “no nuance or discussion” about comedy nowadays, as it has instead just become “two tribes of people screaming.”
“I genuinely think I don’t do anything that deserves to be canceled,” he said. “Some people now don’t care about the argument or the issue, they just want to own someone, they want to win the argument.”
Though he sees himself as a “champagne socialist,” Gervais has been praised by many on the right for being a longtime advocate of freedom of speech.
“I’m an old fashioned liberal lefty, champagne socialist type of guy,” Gervais said last year. “A pro-equality, opportunity-for-all, welfare state snowflake. But, if I ever defend freedom of speech on here, I’m suddenly an alt-right nazi. How did that happen?”
I'm an old fashioned liberal lefty, champagne socialist type of guy. A pro-equality, opportunity-for-all, welfare state snowflake. But, if I ever defend freedom of speech on here, I'm suddenly an alt right nazi. How did that happen? pic.twitter.com/9pYrTJlQHK
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 23, 2019
If only there were more people in Hollywood like Ricky Gervais.
This piece was written by James Samson on July 10, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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