Ricky Gervais has been called out after making jokes about terminally ill children.
Taking to Instagram, the 62-year-old comedian posted a snippet from his Netflix show titled Armageddon, where he was telling some "controversial" jokes about the 'Make A Wish' foundation - an organization that helps terminally ill children fulfil their "final" wishes.
In one clip, which caught the attention of fans, he jokes: "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'."
He continued: "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 onto 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?'"
Of course, the clip garnered some pretty intense backlash, with many slamming the comedian for his poor taste.
"How this is even allowed to be posted is disgusting," one Instagram user commented.
"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," added another.
One Instagram user also recalled a similar memory stating: "This is extremely disheartening. How could you joke about dying children. One of those 'baldies' was my baby. Suffered & died before the age of six. And some how you find it comical. You are what’s wrong with this world. Taking something so tragic & then try to make 'light' of it & then have to justify how 'it’s only an act'. You’re the joke of this whole thing. A true piece of work."Have a look at the full clip below:
However, one of the loudest critics of the star was none other than former Ex on the Beach contestant Ashley Cain.
In April 2021, Cain suffered the loss of his daughter, Azaylia, when she lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She was just eight months old at the time.
Cain and his partner also documented their journey with their little one from hospital appointments to her overall condition, which unfortunately deteriorated over a short period.
Commenting under the video posted to Instagram, the reality TV star wrote: "I was actually a fan of Ricky Gervais but after watching his stand up with my family and hearing multiple jokes about terminally ill children and especially kids with cancer I had to turn it off.
"Some things are not funny, especially to the parents that are left behind. You can get canceled in this world for so much, yet making a mockery of dying children is ok? I'm so mad at this!"
On His Instagram Stories, he also discussed the issue further, stating that he was trying his best to remain "professional" but truly felt offended and hurt by Gervais' content.
"I know Ricky makes jokes about having so much money that he doesn’t care about what us people think," he continued. "But someday he will learn and he best hope it’s not me that has to teach him that lesson. Because I don’t play when it comes to certain things. And that is definitely one of those things."
Cain then opened up about the irony of spending time with other grieving fathers earlier in the same day.
"The maddest thing is, it was only today that I played in a charity match for Good Morning Britain alongside a group of great gentlemen that are part of a charity for bereaved fathers," he added. "Each man I stood next to shared each other’s excruciating pain from the loss of a child - Brilliant men, with beautiful children who were taken from this earth too soon.
"Left with a hole in their lives that is truly impossible to fill," he concluded.
Gervais is no stranger to making controversial jokes.
During an interview with GQ he explained: "I want to be able to justify every joke and I think it comes by making sure that the target is fair. I think most offence comes when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target."
What do you think about the jokes? Does comedy have no limits or should some subjects be kept away from comedians?