Comedian Ricky Gervais says a series of transphobic tweets were meant to be a joke. The Golden Globe host says he was responding to a tweet from a satire account linked to the British conservative magazine The Spectator written in the voice of an angry trans woman in response to J.K. Rowling’s own recent transphobic comments. The Harry Potter author is under fire for expressing support for the work of a researcher who said people could not change their biological sex.
“Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life,” Gervais wrote in response to the Spectator’s mock article. “They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets,” he wrote on Twitter. “Well, enough is enough.” After a barrage of complaints, Gervais tried clarify his stance, writing, “If it was a joke it fell flat. That’s why it was free.” It isn’t the first time Gervais has been criticized for cracking trans jokes. When he hosted the Globes in 2016, he joked about Caitlyn Jenner and included a number of jokes at her expense again in his 2018 show “Humanity.”