Ricky Gervais desires to be a promoter of free speech

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais

The 57-year-old star accepts he’s in a privileged position as a comedian to be able to joke about anything he wants and he is determined to kick back against the attempted censorship he sees on social media and in society every day.

He said: “I know that I have an immense amount of privilege which is why I should defend freedom of speech: I have a position to do it. Censorship is a slippery slope. It’s very odd now, and it is partly a social media thing. It’s being perpetrated and supported by people who think they’re doing the right thing.

“John Wayne was trending on Twitter the other day because he said something racist 48 years ago. Kevin Hart was fired for a seven year old tweet he apologised for. If you have to keep apologising, then there’s no value in improving. The new thing about ‘safe spaces’ is odd, too: people being banned at universities because they might upset someone.

“I think hard about my jokes to make them bulletproof and justified, but I don’t know if they’ll be bulletproof in 20 years’ time. Offence is good. It makes people come up with an argument.”

The ‘After Life’ star fronted the Golden Globes in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016 causing outrage with his jokes about the Hollywood stars in attendance, but he considers all awards shows to be “tedious” and has never watched one he hasn’t “presented”.

Speaking to The I Paper, he said: “I’ve never watched an awards show I wasn’t presenting. They’re all tedious. It’s not a spectator sport, seeing everyone hug and tell each other how wonderful they are.”

There is always a huge clamour for Ricky to host the Oscars but he is adamant he wouldn’t helm Hollywood biggest night unless he was given the freedom to make any jokes he wanted like he was when he fronted the Globes.

He said: “I’d do it if they said I could do what I wanted, which is the same as I did at the Golden Globes. But they’d never ask because they take it too seriously. Nobody really cares – nobody really cares about films – but they would never let me bring the tone down.”

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