Ricky Gervais has been causing a lively controversy for a few days with supernature, his new one-man show described as “transphobic”. Watching the show on Netflix, we quickly understand what caused the wildfire fire.
After just four minutes, the British comedian gets to the heart of the matter by addressing women, but not all women…
“I mean, the ex-wives, the ones with a uterus. these dinosaurs. Although I love new women. They’re great, right? The ones we’ve seen recently, with beards and penises…”
Minutes later, evoking the culture of exile, Gervais persists and signs. “The worst thing you can say today is: ‘Women don’t have penises.’ Who could have predicted that? »
Towards the end of the show, between two criticisms of the movement. woke up, the 60-year-old adds a layer by declaring: “To tell the truth, I defend the rights of trans people. I defend human rights, so I defend the rights of trans people. To flourish. Use the pronouns of your choice. Choose the gender that suits you best. But help me, ladies. Go your own way and let go of your penis. That’s all. »
In the United States, GLAAD, an advocacy organization for gay, lesbian and transgender people, called Ricky Gervais’ jokes “dangerous” anti-trans mania. In a statement, the association criticized Netflix for presenting a program that encourages violent and hateful acts, contrary to the policies that the platform has adopted.
On Twitter, the messages accusing the author of the series The office Y Future life of transphobia abound… exactly what the main stakeholder had anticipated. sometimes in supernatureGervais speaks directly to the “outraged”, emphasizing that he does not care about their complaints.
These people invent a virtue. They try to raise their status by crushing others. They pretend to be “protective minorities” as if they have no sense of humor. He is so condescending!
“I know what it’s like to be outnumbered,” jokes Gervais. [Au Royaume-Uni], we only have 5% Black, 5% Asian, and 5% LGBTQ. It is little. I am a straight white male billionaire. We are less than 1%. Am I complaining? Do not. “
An easy topic
The controversy surrounding Ricky Gervais is reminiscent of Dave Chappelle. Last fall, the American comedian found himself at the center of a media storm after the release, also on Netflix, of a solo show titled the closer Also called transphobic. “Gender is a fact,” argued the comedian on stage.
Trans people are increasingly being targeted by comedians. “Transidentity, non-binary… It has been in the news for a long time. It’s an easy subject,” says Samuel Desbiens, executive director of TRANS Mauricie/Centre-du-Québec, an organization that supports, leads, and welcomes trans people and their loved ones.
According to Samuel Desbiens, transgender people are “capable of laughing at themselves”.
It is not forbidden to laugh at gender identity, just like it is not forbidden to laugh at any subject. But there is a way to make things happen.
For Christelle Paré, pedagogical director of the National School of Humor (ENH) and professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Ottawa, the intention behind the joke counts for a lot.
“What is the intention behind the prank?” Is it to hurt or is it to take the reflection further? Free humor, hitting below the waist, that’s what we least appreciate. When the intent is unclear, it often generates the most controversy. »
We MUST laugh at everything
Despite the controversies (Ricky Gervais, Dave Chappelle, Mike Ward), the NHS continues to teach not only that we can laugh at everything, but that we MUST laugh at everything. At the show for the graduates of the campus, on Wednesday at Club Soda, sexual diversity was one of the topics addressed on stage, as were mental health, suicide, and misogyny.
“Critical humor is an extremely important aspect of our social life, of our political life,” says Christelle Paré. Through research, we see that humor is a huge vehicle for the transmission and negotiation of the rules of coexistence and our social constructions. »
The fact to note: Last winter, while Dave Chappelle was making headlines, Christelle Paré hosted an open discussion with all the students. Her results reassured her.
“We had a whole discussion,” says the educational director. Everyone was able to argue his point. He confirmed to me how much the new generation of comedians has something to say. They have lived through the maple spring, COVID, the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter… They want to express themselves. They are not afraid. »
supernature Ricky Gervais is presented on Netflix.
Excerpts from Ricky Gervais shows
“I defend the rights of trans people. To flourish. Use the pronouns of your choice. Choose the gender that suits you best. But help me, ladies. Go your own way and let go of your penis. »
“The risk is that by dint of wanting to be politically correct, and more alert than others, we decide one day that we can no longer say “pedophile”. Because it is derogatory. It is offensive to people addicted to children. »
“Nothing is considered crazy anymore. It’s all just syndrome, addiction, or preference. I could change my legs for wheels and identify myself with a stroller. »
“In some clubs, the comedian must sign a piece of paper stating that he will not say anything controversial or offensive. He turns nightclubs into safe spaces for the public. I tried, but I hated it. I’ve decided I’d rather watch Louis CK masturbate. »
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