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Ricky Gervais slams cancel culture and defends free-speech comedy, says he wants to 'try and get cancelled'

'There’s no subject you shouldn’t joke about,' he said. 'It depends on the joke. As a journalist, there’s nothing you wouldn’t write about. It depends on your angle, right?'

Ricky Gervais slams cancel culture and defends free-speech comedy, says he wants to 'try and get cancelled'
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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British comedian Ricky Gervais has been a staunch defender of comedy, and his position on the matter has only gotten more solidified over the past few years. With the rise of cancel culture, Gervais has maintained his position that all forms of comedy should be allowed and that nothing should be off-limits–and made statements to that effect in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal.  

Speaking to the Journal, Gervais explained why nothing should be off-limits, and even added in a second interview that he wants to “try and get cancelled.” 

“I think a lot of this pious offence comes from people mistaking the target of the joke with the subject. You can joke about anything, but it depends on what the actual target is,” said Gervais in his interview with the WSJ.

In his interview with Heat, as detailed by The Mirror, the Afterlife writer and actor said he wants to push the boundaries of comedy as far as he can with his upcoming series Armageddon.

Gervais said that the show, which is bound to cause controversy, could result in his cancellation–a fact that does not phase him. Instead, Gervais said that he’s “treating it like his last one ever.” 

“I'm treating it like it's my last one ever. It won't be, but I want to put everything into it. I want to try and get cancelled. No, I just want to go all-out there,” he said.

Gervais, a brilliant comedian, knows full well that any attempts to cancel him will only result in more popularity, blowing him up even further. Past attempts to cancel him for his remarks at the Golden Globe Awards and for things that he said on social media in regards to the “#MeToo” movement and the hypocrisy of the Hollywood elite only resulted in Gervais garnering more fans than ever.

“It's about the end of the world and how we're going to destroy ourselves for lots of reasons, whether it's media stupidity, or the actual end of the world,” said Gervais, explaining the plot of his show.

In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, the comedian said there was nothing he believed people should not joke about.

“There’s no subject you shouldn’t joke about,” he said. “It depends on the joke. As a journalist, there’s nothing you wouldn’t write about. It depends on your angle, right? I think a lot of this pious offence comes from people mistaking the target of the joke with the subject. You can joke about anything, but it depends on what the actual target is.”

“If you use irony and people see that at face value and think you’re saying one thing but you’re actually saying the opposite,” he continued. “Even the critical thinkers, if it’s a subject that’s personal to them, they can’t see the wood for the trees, they can’t see objectively. People laugh at 19 of the terrible subjects I joke about, but not the 20th because that affects them.”

Asked for his thoughts on the upcoming Golden Globe Awards, which has been “essentially reduced to a live blog this year,” Gervais said he doesn’t care for award shows, which he dismissed as exercises in narcissism.

“The only time I’ve ever seen an awards show was one that I’m at,” he stated. “I’m either winning or losing an award or presenting it. They’re fun for the industry, you know? The first time I [hosted] the Golden Globes—I did it five times over 10 years—it was palpable. People were going, Who does he think he is? How dare he insult the most important people in the world?”

“Over that 10-year period, the world changed,” he continued. “By the last time I did it, it was very different. I kept doing my thing and now people were going, ‘Yeah, give it to them. We hate celebrities. We’re tired of being told what to do by people with everything. We’re tired of being told to recycle when we know they got there in their private jet or limo.’”

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