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LGBTQ Group Slams Ricky Gervais' New Netflix Special As Anti-Trans

GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, calls Ricky Gervais' latest Netflix special, SuperNature, "dangerous" and "anti-trans."

Gervais has had an overall contract with Netflix to develop material for the streaming giant in recent years, including the scripted series After Life, which just concluded after three seasons. The collaboration has also created multiple stand-up comedy specials, the most recent of which is SuperNature. Only hours after the Netflix special was broadcast, it began garnering backlash for multiple jokes that targeted the transgender community, notably trans women.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has now spoken out against Gervais' new Netflix show. The LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, according to a statement acquired by Variety, labels the show "dangerous" and claims it comprises of "anti-trans diatribe disguised as humor." Gervais is also accused of "spouting anti-gay sentiments" and "promoting incorrect HIV information," according to GLAAD. Read the following section of the statement:

"We watched the Ricky Gervais ‘comedy’ special on Netflix so you don’t have to. It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes. He also spouts anti-gay rhetoric and spreads inaccurate information about HIV. Attention Ricky and Netflix: people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV to others."

GLAAD's statement goes on to attack Netflix for hosting the content and refusing to police their own hate speech policy by permitting "so-called comedians who spew hate in lieu of laughter" on their platform. Although he is not named, GLAAD is most likely referring to comedian Dave Chappelle, whose recent Netflix special The Closer drew similar criticism for its anti-trans sentiments, prompting company-wide walkouts and demonstrations. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos defended the show, saying he supports Chappelle's "artistic freedom" and urging staff to "disagree freely" with him.

It's uncertain whether Gervais' forthcoming Netflix special will elicit the same reaction from Netflix staff. If Sarandos' handling of the Backlash to The Closer is any indicator, Netflix will likely support Ricky Gervais in the same way that it supported Chappelle. SuperNature, on the other hand, will definitely revive the discussion about when humour crosses the line into hate speech and becomes hurtful to oppressed populations. GLAAD has made their position plain, however for those who wish to see and develop their own decision, SuperNature is now available on Netflix.

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