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Ricky Gervais: Caitlyn Jenner joke at Golden Globes not transphobic

Ricky Gervais hosts the 73rd annual Golden Globe

Ricky Gervais hosts the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. Credit: AP / Paul Drinkwater

Comedian and Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais is having a field day fielding comments from people offended by his awards show opening monologue, in which he said transgender woman and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, who was involved in a fatal car accident last year, might be a role model for the trans community but not for female drivers.

“Suggesting [that] a joke about Caitlyn Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist,” Gervais, 54, said in the first of several tweets on Tuesday. He added shortly afterward, “In the future, everyone will be offended by me for 15 minutes,” tweaking the famed Andy Warhol quote. “You have every right to be offended. Just don’t cry when no one cares. Hosting The Globes has made me want to do a new stand up show next year. Now THAT’S when you’re allowed to be offended. . . . ”

One unamused party, actor Stephen Lang (“Avatar,” AMC’s “Into the Badlands”), responded with “Nah, you’re neither transphobic nor racist.....just a cheap-shot artist.”

Gervais, undeterred, wrote, “Do people not realise that when they say they are offended by a joke it makes that joke even funnier for the rest of us,” and comically upped the ante: “If jokes caused the easily offended to bleed internally, I’d do more stand up.”

One Twitter commentator, Rachel McGrath, wrote, “If your joke is about a person’s transition, it’s probably transphobic,” to which the comedian replied, “What if it was about her killing someone with her car? Would that be ok?” McGrath countered, “Yeah, but the joke was in two parts. That bit: fair game but the ‘Bruce Jenner changes . . . ’ bit was about her transition.” Replied Gervais, “But it WAS Bruce Jenner who changed. Into Caitlyn Jenner. And I respect that. Just not her driving.”

He concluded with a pun, writing, “I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I’m #TransportPhobic,” and then posted a video of the monologue and told people, “Judge for yourself.”

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