Ricky Gervais: SuperNature Review
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this comedy special especially on the wonderful social media site that is Twitter. However from the discourse that I have seen online the anger is only placed at one of the many dark jokes that Ricky Gervais makes, and not wanting to make a rash decision I decided to watch the special and decide for myself whether the anger was justified or not.
In the special Ricky Gervais has a very dark sense of humour that can come across as hurtful if you take it as facts, but he reiterates many times in the special that it is all irony and jokes and should be seen as such. In the special he jokes about Hitler, AIDS, paedophilia, race and many other topics that some people deem too serious to joke about. However the one section of the special that caused the biggest controversy, that only lasted at most 15 minutes, is his comments on the trans-community.
In this section he makes jokes about the trans-community that have been said and are sourced to be direct quotes from people who are part of that community, he does not add any extra information or his own insight into these comments but just uses them in a way that is twisted to be jokey rather than serious and hateful. Yet people online have started a war against Ricky Gervais for these comments and are saying that he is trans-phobic for making them, yet for some reason his comments about non-straight humans aren’t seen as homophobic, his race comments aren’t racist and I say that because no one is up in arms online about those sections.
And why might that be? Well that’s because people online have been sharing these moments in short out of context snippets to their followers, and because the person tweeting has an agenda against it, that means that their followers also gain an agenda against him even if they haven’t watched the special. It is much like reading a newspaper headline and dismissing the story and letting your opinion be swayed by that headline, and so often things use short snippets as click bait for the show, the story whatever it might be and can easily be taken out of context. So to see so many people up in arms online about something that they haven’t even watched is very frustrating.
Of course if you have watched the special and you still find these comments outrageous then that is perfectly fair, you are allowed to have an opinion that does not equal to what the comedian is giving, and you’re perfectly within your rights to go online and comment about how you disagree with it. But why is it that only the trans community comments are seen as hateful online and not everything else? I went through many of the tweets being pointed at Ricky Gervais after the special and barely any of them actually mentioned any of the other parts that he made in the special that could be seen as harmful, or even more harmful in the world we live in today, and I find that very interesting.
I enjoy dark humour, my favourite comedian is Daniel Sloss and he is known for saying to his audience that he has a very dark humour and what we see is very much the top level of it and it could be a lot darker if he allowed himself the option to say it, but knows that it would not go down well. So yes a lot of the things that Ricky said in this special were dark and taboo but the whole special was, it wasn’t just this one comment, it was the whole show. I think if you are going to be angered at a show being dark then be angry at the whole show and not just the stuff that affects you, because how is that fair? Why should one group of people be allowed to have a privilege of jokes not being made about them yet everyone else has to suffer that injustice? At the end of the day comedy is comedy and if you don’t like it then yes you can speak up against it and say that you are not a fan of it, but you are also not being forced to watch it and you have a decision in your life to either be angry at the people who make the jokes or be angry at people who are allowing the comedians to think it’s okay to make the jokes in the first place. Don’t be angry at the messenger be angry at the person behind the curtain pulling the strings, from the government, the leaders, and the people of higher power who do see certain groups as marginalised human beings. Make them make a change so that when they’re joked about they are more lighthearted because they don’t hold so much weight.
Personally I enjoyed the special, I could see it for was it was which was a man with dark humour standing in front of people who are fans of him and giving them an entertaining evening. There are comedians I don’t want to watch that you could also say are very problematic but that’s because I don’t enjoy their type of humour and so I do not expose myself to it. Yes you could say I am a cis, white, female person but that does not mean that I do not have hidden vulnerabilities that I do not talk about in the public sphere, and so when a joke about one of my hidden issues is made I do not immediately get angry and think how dare you I think that was a funny joke and I’m not going to take it to heart because what is that going to do apart from make me angry for a while? And if I do have an issue then I will just turn it off and not support them.
What do you think of Ricky Gervais: SuperNature?
Until next time.
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