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Ricky Gervais defends Chris Rock's Oscars joke


Ricky Gervais, historically, has had plenty of hot takes on comedy — both on the work of others as well as his own. Gervais was famously the comedian who opened a special with a joke about “identifying as an attack helicopter” in order to make a jab at gender-non-conforming individuals.

However, with his opinions on comedy, sensitivity, and censorship often proving perfect headline fodder, many Gervais fans have been patiently waiting for his response to one of the most controversial moments in awards show history.

Everyone knows what happened at the Oscars, with Will Smith clambering onstage to slap Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Reflecting on the situation, Ricky Gervais expressed his opinion: “You don’t hit someone over a joke, however bad it is – and it wasn’t bad,” he said. “That was like the tamest joke I would’ve ever told.”

This definitely rings true, as Gervais has done so much worse just in his regular comedy sets. Gervais even addresses this in his comments, as he continues: “People were going, ‘What would have happened if Ricky Gervais had been doing it [hosting the Oscars]?’ Well, nothing, as I would not have made a joke about his wife’s hair. I would have made a joke about her boyfriend.”

This cheeky dig seemed to match the tone of the situation and actually swings a bit tame for Gervais. But what can you do when you’re publically commenting on a situation such as this one? Sure, he’s leaning into the sentiment that violence is never the answer, but he’s doing it with his own style by poking a bit of fun at Will Smith in the process.

While he might not have added a ton to the conversation, it is interesting to hear what he has to say about the situation as a whole.