Ricky Gervais has spoken out about cancel culture, stating that “trying to get somebody fired, isn’t cool”.
The Office and After Life creator, who has frequently been outspoken on the subject, he has now offered a nuanced view on the subject which suggests that the debate isn’t black and white.
“Everyone’s got a different definition of cancel culture,’ explained Gervais to Metro, who then added, “If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right. But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion about something that’s nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture and that’s not cool.
“You turning off your own TV isn’t censorship. You trying to get other people to turn off their TV because you don’t like something they’re watching, that’s different,” continued Gervais.
“Everyone’s allowed to call you an arsehole, everyone’s allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone’s allowed to burn your DVDs, but you shouldn’t have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn’t like. And that’s what we get dangerously close to. If you don’t agree to someone’s right to say something you don’t agree with, you don’t agree with freedom of speech,” he added.
Gervais then discussed a tweet he posted recently “about freedom of speech, quoting Winston Churchill. Someone came back with, ‘You know he was a white supremacist?’ And I wrote back, ‘Not in that tweet he isn’t’. It’s like if someone did something once that’s wrong, everything they did was wrong.”