Thousands sign petition calling for Netflix to remove Ricky Gervais' jokes about terminally ill children

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By stefan armitage

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Ricky Gervais' upcoming Netflix special has already been met with backlash... and it hasn't even dropped on the platform yet.

Being one of the biggest entertainers in the world, it's only expected that many people are looking forward to the release of his latest comedy special on the streaming platform, Armageddon.

The tour smashed records earlier this year, after the star amassed a huge £1.41 million at the box office for a single stand-up show.

However, despite Gervais' popularity and decades-long success in comedy - with his career being catapulted thanks to the global success of The Office - some people are calling for Netflix to censor certain jokes the 62-year-old makes in the show.

Despite not dropping on Netflix until Christmas Day later this month, Gervais has already angered some people after sharing a clip from the show on his social media pages.

In one clip, Gervais could be seen telling some controversial jokes about the 'Make A Wish' foundation - an organization that helps terminally ill children fulfill their "final" wishes. Have a look at the full clip below:

For one of the jokes, he tells the crowd: "I’ve been doing a lot of video messages recently for terminally ill children. Only if they request it, obviously. I don’t burst into hospitals and go, 'Wake up baldy'."

Gervais then continues: "I did a lot through the pandemic, presumably because they couldn’t even see their own families. It was through Make a Wish Foundation. They’re great. And they give these dying kids their one wish."

He then went on to state that whenever a child requests a video from him, he "always starts [it] the same way," before elaborating: "If it’s me, I always say yes. And I always start the video the same way. I go: 'Why don’t you wish to get better?'"

The jokes caused a furor in the comedian's comments section, with people divided over whether or not some issues just cannot be joked about. "How this is even allowed to be posted is disgusting," one Instagram user commented, with a second adding: "I wonder if you think this would feel right saying to their parent in the hospital as their kids are fighting for their lives. I was one of them.

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Ricky Gervais has been called out over jokes made in his upcoming Netflix show. Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Now, a petition has been launched on Change.org, calling for Netflix to remove the jokes from the special before it hits the platform.

Titled, 'Demand Netflix to Remove Ricky Gervais's Offensive Skit Mocking Terminally Ill Children', the petition was started by Sess Cova, who writes in the page description: "I am writing this petition as a parent whose child, Katy, bravely battled cancer.

"The recent skit by Ricky Gervais on Netflix, where he refers to terminally ill children as 'baldy', is not just disrespectful but also deeply hurtful. It mocks the courage and resilience of these young fighters who face their illness with grace and beauty despite their baldness."

Cova goes on to describe Gervais' jokes as "distasteful" and "heartless".

"They are a slap in the face to not only the children battling these serious illnesses but also their parents and families who stand by them through this difficult journey. His words have offended an entire community," the description added.

"This is not only unfunny but deeply offensive," she continues. "I can't comprehend how a writer or anyone at Netflix could greenlight such appalling content. We must demand the removal of this skit.

"Gervais has provoked the anger of parents living with their child diagnosed with cancer, and we won't back down in fiercely advocating for them. He completely crossed the line. Our children are not a punchline, their lives aren’t a joke."

"This is why we demand that Netflix remove this offensive skit from its platform immediately," the page continues, before adding: "We believe that comedy should never come at the expense of someone else's pain or suffering - especially when it involves innocent children battling life-threatening illnesses."

As of this writing, the petition has garnered more than 3,900 signatures from people agreeing with the cause.

But Gervais has long been a proponent that any subject matter can be joked about, and has previously offered his thoughts on people saying they're "offended" by his comedy.

"I think being a provocateur isn't necessarily setting out to cause offense because offense by definition is subjective - I don't think you can say a joke is offensive," he told LBC’s James O’Brien back in 2019, adding: "You have to say I found that joke offensive. Someone saying to me ‘I'm offended’ they might as well be saying they've got a pain in their leg. I have no opinion about it.

"I’ve always said, just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right. Some people are offended by equality, we've seen that more and more in the past few years."

Gervais continued: "I say you have to know what the target of the joke is, what the subject is. You can make jokes about race without being racist. You can make jokes about the sexes without being sexist."

What do you think about the jokes? Does comedy lend itself to every subject or are there some things people should never joke about?

Featured image credit: Karwai Tang / Getty

Thousands sign petition calling for Netflix to remove Ricky Gervais' jokes about terminally ill children

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Ricky Gervais' upcoming Netflix special has already been met with backlash... and it hasn't even dropped on the platform yet.

Being one of the biggest entertainers in the world, it's only expected that many people are looking forward to the release of his latest comedy special on the streaming platform, Armageddon.

The tour smashed records earlier this year, after the star amassed a huge £1.41 million at the box office for a single stand-up show.

However, despite Gervais' popularity and decades-long success in comedy - with his career being catapulted thanks to the global success of The Office - some people are calling for Netflix to censor certain jokes the 62-year-old makes in the show.

Despite not dropping on Netflix until Christmas Day later this month, Gervais has already angered some people after sharing a clip from the show on his social media pages.

In one clip, Gervais could be seen telling some controversial jokes about the 'Make A Wish' foundation - an organization that helps terminally ill children fulfill their "final" wishes. Have a look at the full clip below:

For one of the jokes, he tells the crowd: "I’ve been doing a lot of video messages recently for terminally ill children. Only if they request it, obviously. I don’t burst into hospitals and go, 'Wake up baldy'."

Gervais then continues: "I did a lot through the pandemic, presumably because they couldn’t even see their own families. It was through Make a Wish Foundation. They’re great. And they give these dying kids their one wish."

He then went on to state that whenever a child requests a video from him, he "always starts [it] the same way," before elaborating: "If it’s me, I always say yes. And I always start the video the same way. I go: 'Why don’t you wish to get better?'"

The jokes caused a furor in the comedian's comments section, with people divided over whether or not some issues just cannot be joked about. "How this is even allowed to be posted is disgusting," one Instagram user commented, with a second adding: "I wonder if you think this would feel right saying to their parent in the hospital as their kids are fighting for their lives. I was one of them.

wp-image-1263239043 size-full
Ricky Gervais has been called out over jokes made in his upcoming Netflix show. Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Now, a petition has been launched on Change.org, calling for Netflix to remove the jokes from the special before it hits the platform.

Titled, 'Demand Netflix to Remove Ricky Gervais's Offensive Skit Mocking Terminally Ill Children', the petition was started by Sess Cova, who writes in the page description: "I am writing this petition as a parent whose child, Katy, bravely battled cancer.

"The recent skit by Ricky Gervais on Netflix, where he refers to terminally ill children as 'baldy', is not just disrespectful but also deeply hurtful. It mocks the courage and resilience of these young fighters who face their illness with grace and beauty despite their baldness."

Cova goes on to describe Gervais' jokes as "distasteful" and "heartless".

"They are a slap in the face to not only the children battling these serious illnesses but also their parents and families who stand by them through this difficult journey. His words have offended an entire community," the description added.

"This is not only unfunny but deeply offensive," she continues. "I can't comprehend how a writer or anyone at Netflix could greenlight such appalling content. We must demand the removal of this skit.

"Gervais has provoked the anger of parents living with their child diagnosed with cancer, and we won't back down in fiercely advocating for them. He completely crossed the line. Our children are not a punchline, their lives aren’t a joke."

"This is why we demand that Netflix remove this offensive skit from its platform immediately," the page continues, before adding: "We believe that comedy should never come at the expense of someone else's pain or suffering - especially when it involves innocent children battling life-threatening illnesses."

As of this writing, the petition has garnered more than 3,900 signatures from people agreeing with the cause.

But Gervais has long been a proponent that any subject matter can be joked about, and has previously offered his thoughts on people saying they're "offended" by his comedy.

"I think being a provocateur isn't necessarily setting out to cause offense because offense by definition is subjective - I don't think you can say a joke is offensive," he told LBC’s James O’Brien back in 2019, adding: "You have to say I found that joke offensive. Someone saying to me ‘I'm offended’ they might as well be saying they've got a pain in their leg. I have no opinion about it.

"I’ve always said, just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right. Some people are offended by equality, we've seen that more and more in the past few years."

Gervais continued: "I say you have to know what the target of the joke is, what the subject is. You can make jokes about race without being racist. You can make jokes about the sexes without being sexist."

What do you think about the jokes? Does comedy lend itself to every subject or are there some things people should never joke about?

Featured image credit: Karwai Tang / Getty