He joked about dead babies and recently bereaved parents walked out of his show.

His defence was that “offence is the collateral damage of freedom of speech”.


Two things:

  1. Am I right in saying that this has NOTHING to do with “censorship” and “freedom of speech”, as those are things that can only be enacted and compromised by states and governments?

  2. Has the “NOTHING SHOULD BE OUT OF BOUNDS IN COMEDY” argument EVER been made by a comedian who isn’t straight, white, and male?

In the words of Ricky - discuss.

  1. Yes it has, by loads of people.

What was the actual joke as I can’t seem to see it anywhere?

That’s mean to be in answer to your second question

I gathered!

I’ve no idea what the actual joke was, soz.

What about universities banning speakers from appearing at events held on campus?

It’s got nothing to do with censorship or free speech. He made a joke that people found offensive and - SHOCK HORROR - there have been consequences for him (which look to be incredibly minor).

The kind of people who equate this kind of thing to censorship tend to really mean “I should be free to say whatever I want without consequence”, which is really stupid.


Ugh, Ricky Gervais makes my skin crawl.


Good comedy punches up. Gervais can get a bit fedora about all this stuff, he should’ve just acknowledged it as a really shit joke, promise his joke has actual funny jokes in and people would’ve moved on. This just seems like overly defensive tripe.


I’m not sure that’s the same thing. That’s removing someone’s platform - they’re still free to talk elsewhere, and they’re not about to be imprisoned for their offensive views.


Haven’t heard the joke, but find it a bit cynical that this sort of thing crops up just as somebody’s touring, and the media lap it up. Not that he probably needs to sell tickets…but everyone knows he’s gigging anyhow.

Quite enjoyed his first stand-up tour. The others have been massively shit, but i’m sure he doesn’t lie awake at night worrying about that.

The UK government banned Geert Wilders from speaking in the UK. He was still free to speak in other countries, and he was not imprisoned for his offensive views.

can’t believe ricky gervais said something offensive


Haven’t seen (and won’t see) his current show, but it will definitely be awful, so I’ll adjust the Gervais Career Good:Shit ratio accordingly (it’s currently at about 1:50).


It comes down to someone thinking “my right to make jokes about dead babies is more important than avoiding causing upset to people who have suffered through the death of their child”.

Which they’re perfectly free to think, and I’m perfectly free to think they’re a total cunt for thinking that.


I think if you go to a Ricky Gervais show you should expect some pretty dark content like that, because he considers himself a free-thinking edge lord. Of course it’s a horrible topic, but he’s free to talk about it. Think it’s different from when Jimmy Carr made jokes about learning disabled children, or racist humour, etc.

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if you’re recently bereaved it’s probably not a good idea to go and watch some edgelord doing shit jokes

That’s not the original point you made.

Are you saying that the definition of censorship is a lot more complicated than the one I originally implied? I quite agree. But at the same time, I still don’t think Ricky Gervais’s freedom of speech is being compromised here.


Fucking knobhead. This glee he (and others) have in being as offensive as possible just for the sake of being offensive so they can cry their cocks off when called out on it; it muddies the waters of the fact that good comedy has the ability to make intelligent points from controversial subjects more than loads of other art-forms.

Epimer has nailed it here:


What if their only exposure to Gervais was through Derek, and they were anticipating something tender and schmaltzy?

Don’t think there is any conflict here, he made a joke which he is allowed to, people got offended which they are allowed to. On 2 don’t know, but I would be surprised if that was the case as you get edgy comedians from all backgrounds