The British comedian Ricky Gervais, the creator and star of shows like “The Office” and “After Life,” spoke out to blast cancel culture, saying that it’s “not cool” to try and get people fired for making supposedly offensive statements.
Gervais told The Metro that “everyone’s got a different definition of cancel culture,” but added that the worst form of it is when people target someone else’s job.
“If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right. But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion about something that’s nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture, and that’s not cool,” Gervais said. “You turning off your own TV isn’t censorship. You trying to get other people to turn off their TV because you don’t like something they’re watching, that’s different.”
“Everyone’s allowed to call you an asshole, everyone’s allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone’s allowed to burn your DVDs, but you shouldn’t have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn’t like. And that’s what we get dangerously close to,” he added. “If you don’t agree to someone’s right to say something you don’t agree with, you don’t agree with freedom of speech.”
Gervais went on to slam those who are trying to erase various historical figures whom they deem to be “offensive.”
“I did a tweet a month ago about freedom of speech, quoting Winston Churchill. Someone came back with, ‘You know he was a white supremacist?’ And I wrote back, ‘Not in that tweet he isn’t,’” he said. “It’s like if someone did something once that’s wrong, everything they did was wrong. You are allowed to have things in common with bad people as long it’s not the bad things. I’m a vegetarian and I love dogs, like Hitler. But the only thing I have in common with Hitler are the good bits!”
This isn’t the first time that Gervais has blasted cancel culture. Last month, he said that today’s cancel culture would have made creating “The Office” impossible in 2020.
“Now [the show] would suffer because people would take things literally. There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context,” he said.
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This piece was written by PopZette Staff on August 9, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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