NetFlix’s Newest A$$hole: Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais reimagined himself as a monkey in a tweet mocking transition. He demanded we call him Bobo. Asshole would be much more appropriate.

Is NetFlix intentionally driving away their viewers or are they trying to make transphobia more socially acceptable?

Look, there will always be assholes like Ricky Gervais who delight in racism, homophobia and transphobia and how their offensive behavior insults others. That’s just a fact. But does NetFlix have to enable and pay them to exercise their asshole bone?

Ricky Gervais Netflix special, titled Humanity, opens with Gervais defending his controversial turn as Golden Globes host in 2016 The Sydney Morning Herald Reports:

His monologue during that awards show included a joke aimed at Caitlyn Jenner’s fatal 2015 car crash, which led to the death of another driver.The gag, which ended in the punchline that Jenner’s transition “didn’t do much for women drivers”, sparked backlash at the time. Gervais was accused of transphobia and criticised for “dead-naming” Jenner, after he referred to her by her pre-transition name.

In Humanity, The Office star doubles down on the quip.

“It wasn’t transphobic in the slightest. It was a joke about a trans person, but the joke had nothing to do with that aspect of her existence,” he says in the new special.

The disclaimer’s a setup for a provocative bit aimed at baiting his detractors.

In an extended segment, he reimagines Jenner, pre-transition, walking into a doctor’s office with a butch voice and manly gait. He then goes on to equate Jenner’s transition to his own self-identification as a “chimp”.

“If I say I’m a chimp, I am a chimp,” Gervais says. “And don’t ever ‘dead-name’ me, from now on you call me Bobo.”

After a beat, he closes the gag with an ironic shrug: “And that’s why that joke isn’t transphobic,” he says.

The segment’s tone has earned pointed criticism in reviews, described as “smug” and “trolling” and “downright Trumpian“.

There is a long list of offenders usually found in the “comedy” standup genre. Some of it is from years past like The “L” Word” and “Friends” But due to increased societal acceptance, our tolerance for transphobia regardless of how sublime has substantially diminished something these ‘comedians didn’t miss.

Then there are the new arrivals like season 1 episode 4 of “Episode” and Dave Chappelle doubling down on his ignorance. The fact is the majority of transgender people murdered are people of color. That’s no joke but Chappelle thinks it’s a riot.

So how did these highly offensive shows come to be on NetFlix? “Big Data”.

After you get done reading about how ‘big data’ how influences NetFlix programming decisions two options are made clear.

Netflix flat-out doesn’t care about who gets discriminated against or ends up murdered.

Or NetFlix is trying to influence the demographic who most watch, and vote, into feeling less acceptive of the transgender people.

According to a recent report from MoffettNathanson Research (via Exstreamist), 81% of adults between the ages of 18 and 35 have Netflix accounts, representing a 9% increase from just two years previous.

This basically leaves us with one choice when dealing with a monolithic entity like NetFlix. Hit them in the pocketbook and stop paying NetFlix subscriptions. You know NetFlix couldn’t care less but at least you can go the next day knowing you did what you could.

And who knows, maybe Ricky Gervais will starve from attention if nothing else. That would make my day. One less asshole.

Editor in Chief at

Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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