The Glaring Hypocrisy of Ricky Gervais’ Celebrities Shouldn’t Be Political Argument

Famous rich guy Ricky Gervais has a problem with famous rich people
The Glaring Hypocrisy of Ricky Gervais’ Celebrities Shouldn’t Be Political Argument

Fresh off of an embarrassing attempt to inject himself into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ricky Gervais is once again posting cringey content on social media. Over the past week, Gervais has been uploading short videos of himself in a bathtub, pretending to be a celebrity influencer named “Ricky G.” 

His latest video, which satirizes celebrity political endorsements, finds the Office co-creator stating that “as a celebrity, I know all about stuff, like science and politics. So trust me when I tell you who you should vote for. If you don’t vote the right way, that’s like a hate crime. It makes me sad and angry, and I’ll leave the country, and you don’t want that.”

This is hardly the first time that Gervais has dunked on Hollywood for espousing political opinions. When hosting the Golden Globes in 2020, he warned nominees not to use their win “as a platform to make a political speech,” adding, “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.”

It’s true, celebrities don’t always have great takes on important world issues, as anyone who survived the “Imagine” video outbreak of 2020 can tell you.

But, at the risk of stating the obvious, Gervais admonishing celebrities for shoving their ill-informed beliefs down people’s throats is a little like the Ninja Turtles criticizing people who eat way too much pizza. And not just because a celebrity lecturing people to ignore celebrity lectures is a self-nullifying argument.

For starters, Gervais is a longtime advocate for animal rights, and has worked with World Animal Protection on public service campaigns to promote rabies vaccinations for dogs, and offer public support for a bill to ban bullfighting in Catalonia. While this may be admirable, Gervais was clearly using his platform as a celebrity to call attention to a political cause he believes in. So… the thing he keeps making fun of others for doing. 

Far more reprehensible are some of the recent arguments Gervais has made in his comedy specials. Yes they’re nakedly contrived in order to provoke audiences and feed Gervais’ desperate appetite for some semblance of cultural significance, but they’re political statements nonetheless, with ideological goals that exist outside of the obvious, button-pushing punchlines.

Like in the recent Armageddon Netflix special, Gervais tees-up a sweatily offensive joke about the N-word with a genuine complaint about how attitudes around cultural appropriation have evolved over the years.

Then there’s the transphobia. Gervais tried to cloak his controversial special SuperNature from serious criticism by condescendingly explaining the concept of irony to the audience in the show’s opening minutes. But by gleefully mocking the suggestion that trans women should be able to use women’s washrooms, as he went on to do later in the special, Gervais was obviously making a political statement — one that was embraced by alt-right outlets like Breitbart, who celebrated Gervias’ takedown of “transgender authoritarianism.” 

Gervais attempted to defend his routine by suggesting that his “target wasn’t trans folk, but trans activist ideology,” which begs the question: What the fuck does Ricky Gervais actually know about trans activism? To quote a famous comedian whose name escapes me: You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


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