Ricky Gervais and Free Speech

Ricky Gervais and Free Speech

British comedian Ricky Gervais caused an uproar with his politically incorrect opening speech at Saturday’s Golden Globes awards, but nobody should have been surprised — the star of the original version of The Office recently made his opinions on free speech very clear.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter Gervais said:

“I think offense is the collateral damage of free speech, and it’s no reason not to have free speech. That’s what I’d say, it’s the lesser of two evils. Having free speech and some people getting upset by it is the lesser of two evils because not having free speech is horrendous.”

During his opening monologue at the Golden Globe Awards, he advised winners to stay away from politics for the night:

“So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a political platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything, you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God…”

Gervais did not take his own advice, though. During the award show, he made references to politics, the #MeToo movement and Jeffrey Epstein — sparking an immediate wave of online criticism.

It sounds like Gervais knew that his jokes would cause some upset. In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter he said:

“I’m happy to play by the rules. It’s just that the 200 million people watching have different rules. That’s the plight. When people say, ‘He crossed the line,’ I say, ‘I didn’t draw a line, you did.’ It’s relative. It’s subjective.”

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