Gervais “will continue to use offensive words like cunt, atheism & Derek”

Ricky Gervais is so proud of his clever joke about how people will object to your use of sexist epithets EVEN WHEN IT’S HITLER YOU’RE CALLING THEM that he put in some time defending it on Twitter as well – entirely and obliviously missing the point while doing so. God he’s thick. I think I’ve mentioned this before (but then, he keeps illustrating it), but I thought David Brent was satire, when it turns out he was just Ricky Gervais.


Ricky Gervais @rickygervais 4h

Sorry I called Hitler a cunt. I wasn’t thinking. His behaviour just got to me. Soz.

I will continue to use offensive words like cunt, atheism & Derek and post pictures of myself in the bath. Unfollow now if you don’t like it

Here are some words more offensive than cunt: bumph, soz, yummy, serendipity, swag, baby mama, totes, & ass & douche if you’re not American

Notice what he does not say. Notice he does not say he will continue to use offensive words like nigger, kike, faggot, Mozzie, gook, slope, Polack, towelhead, goat-fucker. Notice that it’s ONLY THE WORD THAT DENIGRATES WOMEN that he makes a big point of bragging about saying and defending.

He is a piece of shit.


  1. says

    What stuns me is that the man, purportedly a comedian, has Hitler and cunts to work with and still can’t manage to be any funnier than this. Take a lesson, folks: This is what being reflexively defensive gets you.

  2. Beth says

    nigger, kike, faggot, Mozzie, gook, slope, Polack, towelhead, goat-fucker.

    For kike nigger faggot – I think it’s fair to say that any of those would have worked for his joke For kike in particular, in my hazy understanding of racist politics, I think he would avoid using out of fear of the potential repercussions. The stereotype is that the Jewish influence in the entertainment field is on a par with that of politics. And we were just shown Gov. Christie apologizing for using insufficiently obfuscating language that a Jewish man in that industry found offensive. Perhaps it’s that the other groups would give him more pushback and articles like yours make that assumption less appealing.

    I don’t think I am sufficiently knowledgeable about current racist terms for the rest. Gook and Polack date back to my youth, towelhead I’ve only heard in movies, so I don’t think they’d work in his joke, but I could be wrong about that. I live a relatively sheltered life; I don’t even know what group of people the others refer to.

  3. drken says

    I’ve noticed for comics, women are an especially easy target as while they will speak out against you, it’s pretty rare that you’ll get in any actual trouble. So, you get to double down on what you said confident that everybody has your back. Do you think if Bill Burr said half the things he’s said about women about black people instead he’d ever get on TV again? Not bloody likely.

  4. karmacat says

    Gervais is SO brave. Maybe he and Cliven Bundy should get together and talk about their mutual narcissism

  5. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Lovingly embracing the status quo = edgy and subversive. Got it.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    Seven of Mine

    Lovingly embracing the status quo = edgy and subversive.

    And Ricky ain’t alone in this.

  7. says

    Ya, he really doesn’t get it. You can’t defend your use of any variety of slur by saying that someone’s behavior “just got to” you. It doesn’t work.

  8. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    “Twat” is a synonym of “cunt” but- presumably because it sounds so like “twit”- it has become a generic term of abuse with no- or not many- sexual connotations. The same thing seems to be happening with “fucking”. Is “cunt” also losing its meaning?

  9. says

    In all honesty, I have no idea why people find him funny or why they ever did. He was always that crude, rude, lewd and mean spirirted. He’s the British version of the US’s “hate comedy” of the 1980s and 90s (e.g. Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Kinison, etc.) who also hurled insults and tried to call it “funny” when it wasn’t.

  10. says

    I think ‘Derek’ here is probably a reference to Peter Cook in Derek and Clive. Despite this appeal to authority, the British defence doesn’t wash with me at all, I’m British and impeccably working class. I never heard anyone use the word at all until I moved to Glasgow in my 20s, and I’ve never heard anyone use it since I left Glasgow, except from one of my sketchy cousins, who only ever uses it to talk about women he hates. And my working class family tell him to cut it the fuck out.

  11. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    “Twat” is a synonym of “cunt” but- presumably because it sounds so like “twit”- it has become a generic term of abuse with no- or not many- sexual connotations. The same thing seems to be happening with “fucking”. Is “cunt” also losing its meaning?

    Could be but that doesn’t make it not a problem. For one thing, “twat” and “cunt” are still gendered and still serve to perpetuate sexist attitudes. For another, the way we use “fuck/fucking” is, for the most part, pretty sex negative. It’s not objected to nearly as often but you don’t have to look very far to find people who prefer to avoid casual usage of it on those grounds.

  12. says

    Lovingly embracing the status quo = edgy and subversive.

    I think the key to understanding them is that they really, really, really see themselves as #braveheroes who are fighting for the weak and oppressed (i.e. people who get criticised for using slurs and being racists or who occasionally even suffer consequences) who are under the thumb of the horribly PC PoC LGBTQ Gynotocracy.

  13. chrislawson says

    @12: The only Gervais show I’ve seen is Extras — and at least there the savage put-downs were directed mostly at himself (his alter ego character was a meant to represent a kind of alternative history for him) and celebrities and stars who knew exactly what they were getting into when they signed on (although apparently Patrick Stewart has some hard feelings about how he was portrayed). I found a lot of it funny. Not that I am not defending this current mess he made.

  14. chrislawson says

    Seven of Mine: for a long time I had no idea that “twat” was originally a slang term for female genitalia and just thought it was a peculiar variation of “twit”. Fortunately I never used it much anyway, but now knowing what it means I actively avoid using it.

    But really why use a gendered slur when there are plenty of good alternatives? The English language is bursting with inventive and funny insults. Why rush to defend the use of the handful that have their origin in bigotry?

  15. chrislawson says

    Sorry, Seven of Mine. That comment was meant to refer to the one you were responding to, not yours directly. My apologies.

  16. says

    I guess I’m just not surprised. Comedy used to be a refuge for the outcasts… now the Jocks/Bullies seem to be taking over.

    So sad…

    Oh, and left0ver1under… if you really think that kind of comedy was big only in the 80’s or 90’s, then you haven’t been watching Comedy Central lately. Daniel Tosh? Anthony Jeselnik? Two off the top of my head who have built their entire comedy careers on being complete, abject bullies. Indeed, they make comics like Sam Kinison look positively sweet by comparison.

    This is not in the past. This is quite literally comedy of today.

    Jamie Kilstein is ahead of his time, I guess.

  17. says

    NateHevens (#19) –

    I’m from Canada, but I currently live in Taiwan, as can be proven by my IP address. I haven’t been in North America or seen TV there since 2001. The only western TV here are shows in syndication, never any comedy. Everyone lauds praise on Louis CK, but aside from funny clips on the internet, I know nothing about him.

  18. m0fa says

    OB you have a USA centric world view. As has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions the meaning of the ‘c’ word differs on other English speaking countries (and NO not just in the UK!!!). OB you continue to contribute to the ostracising of your ever diminishing ‘group’. You deliberately make enemies of the very people who should or would be your allies on many important issues (in regard to atheism, in regard to skepticism, in regard to social justice), for trivial crimes.

  19. Sanna Segerstrom says

    Misogyni is definitely worth fighting! However I´m not completely sure that using the word “cunt” in a derogatory way necessarily makes you a misogynist.
    The same way as calling someone an arse hole in a derogatory way makes you a homophobic (by implying that arse holes are bad/evil/ etc and therefore anal sex should be frowned upon) or calling someone an “idiot” necessarily makes you a hater of mentally challenged. Is calling somone a “dick head” androphobic? Maybe I am wrong?

  20. latsot says


    I’m British too and like many other Brits I’m sick to death of your droning argument that we don’t consider “cunt” to be a gendered insult. I can speculate about a possible reason you think – or at least say – this: the insult “cunt” seems almost interchangeable with other insults, some also gendered (such as “dick”), and others not.

    Unfortunately, there’s only one tiny flaw with that argument: it is bullshit. It’s bullshit partly because “cunt” is always known to be a worse insult than any of those others. It might be argued that this distinction is arbitrary; that “cunt” is considered worse solely due to historical accident independent of the more literal meaning of the word. I’d be as impressed as I would be surprised if anyone managed to come up with a plausible argument along those lines, but I think that’s what you’d have to do to realistically claim that “cunt” is not considered a gendered insult in the UK. Or perhaps you could argue that usage of “cunt” to describe female genitalia is obscure in the UK. Of course, we all know that this is anything but the case. Nobody calls someone a cunt in isolation of its anatomical meaning. You know and they know what the word means and you both know you know they know it.

    Your sadly popular argument seems almost to be saying that the insult “cunt” is not gendered unless someone is being explicitly and literally compared to an actual cunt. That relying on the implicit baggage the word carries somehow renders the insult not gendered, even though everyone involved understands that baggage perfectly well.

    If “cunt” used as an insult were not pretty much universally considered a greater insult than words like “dick” or “prick” and those words used with roughly the same frequency in the same sort of circumstances, then the fact that “cunt” is gendered wouldn’t be so much of a problem. But you know perfectly well that “dick” means someone casually or relatively mildly unpleasant and “cunt” means someone exceedingly, deliberately, habitually, maximally unpleasant and you know what else those words mean.

    OB you continue to contribute to the ostracising of your ever diminishing ‘group’. You deliberately make enemies of the very people who should or would be your allies on many important issues (in regard to atheism, in regard to skepticism, in regard to social justice), for trivial crimes.

    As PZ said on the other thread, it’s amazing how many people seem to feel that their perceived right (seems almost duty in Gervais’ case) to call people cunts without reproach is so important to you. So do you, m0fa, really feel that you can’t work or agree with someone on other issues if they don’t share your love of “cunt” as an insult? Do you really feel you are being ostracised because Ophelia condemns using “cunt” as an insult for reasons she has explained very clearly very often? Do you really feel you are being made an enemy as opposed to, say, not being made an enemy or indeed actually being an enemy?

    If not you, then who are all these straw enemies? Who are these legions of deserting members in Ophelia’s “ever diminishing group”? Sorry, ‘group’.

  21. latsot says


    I think “Derek” probably refers to one of his shows of the same name. I’ve never seen it (I can’t stand Gervais for about fourteen reasons) but in clips I’ve seen, the title character – played by Gervais – seems to be intellectually or behaviourally challenged, possibly autistic. I assume he’s saying he will continue to make that show despite widespread criticism that it is very clearly offensive.

    This is standard behaviour for Gervais. A while back he defended his use of the word “mong” (an insult comparing people to sufferers of Down’s Syndrome) before issuing a wheedling not-pology, pretending he didn’t know what the word meant. He insulted in no uncertain terms those who pulled him up on his use of the word before he realised he would have to apologise.

    I also seem to remember that he posted pictures of himself on Twitter pulling faces. They were exactly the faces that every British child growing up in the 70s used to imply Cerebral Palsy in the person they were directed at. But if I remember rightly, Gervais claimed he was just pulling funny faces. Nobody believed him.

    As Ophelia and others have said, he certainly seems to enjoy attacking people who either have difficulty fighting back or will be widely sided against as taking the insult ‘too seriously’.

  22. says

    Mark @ 21 – “people who should or would be allies” – like you for instance? You would be my ally if I didn’t keep objecting to being called a cunt and to the word’s being normalized as an ok epithet? I don’t think so.

    Anyway this isn’t the way to look at it. I don’t feel sad at losing “allies” who love to use “cunt” as an epithet, any more than I would feel sad at losing “allies” who love to use “nigger” or “kike” or “faggot” as an epithet. I have no interest in “allies” like that.

  23. says


    Ah I see. Okay.

    Yeah… so… that mean comedy of the 80’s and 90’s? Absolutely tame compared to today’s mainstream comedy (at least here in the US). It was Daniel Tosh, after all, who opined how funny it would be if one of his hecklers was gang-raped because she objected to his use of a rape joke (no, I’m not interested in hashing this tired old argument out with anyone again, thanks). And that’s neither the first or last time he would make fun of rape victims.

    Louis CK is not bad. Very rarely he’s problematic (he has an interview with Jon Stewart where he calls feminists humorless, though, to be fair, he also lampoons comedians at being utterly unable to handle any kind of criticism whatsoever in the same breath, so it does balance out), but overall he’s pretty awesome. One of my favorite comedians today.

    Jamie Kilstein is the co-host of Citizen Radio (along with Alison Killkenny; they’re married), and it’s worth a listen (I love it even when I disagree with them). Jamie is hilarious as hell but shunned on TV and in the US comedy culture in general because he lampoons drones and attacks other US politics, he’s a feminist who’s ranted about how rape culture is real and how rape is bad, he’s pro-Palestinian, and other things like that. He goes against the mold of what execs want comedy to be today so much that’s it’s absolutely wonderful… and they hate him for it.

    But today’s popular US comedians (Daniel Tosh, Anthony Jeselnik, Dane Cook, and so on) are giant bullies… and that’s it. That’s what they make their fame on, shitting on other people, punching down, throwing out specifically female-gendered slurs with reckless abandon, making fun of victims of rape and other forms of assault, and so on.

  24. m0fa says

    OB and latsot, I hope my point has not escaped you. You and your ‘group’ (yes latsot I use the ‘inverted commas’ for a reason) are always quick to condemn a man, ostracise a man, write a man off based on a ‘slip of the tongue’, one word, one moment in time? Ricky Gevais has been a champion for the Atheist message. He happens to use one word that you don’t like him using and suddenly he is no longer a worthy liberal human being? This is so ‘black and white’, this is so ‘us verses them’ and this is so typical of your ‘group’…(I love my inverted commas). Ricky is now a ‘bad guy’ apparently because of one word?…no Ricky is not a bad guy, Ricky is a comedian for a start and he sees it as his job to question social norms, question the beliefs, the ideologies of others and have his audience question themselves through his controversial comedy, and Ricky has the right to use any word of his choosing (including the ‘N’ word), because it is not the actual word that is used by a person that defines their nature (whether it be racist or non racist or sexist or non sexist), it is the way they use the word and the meaning they are trying to impart with that word. Ricky Gervais, from what I have seen of his work, has never shown himself to be sexist. His use of the ‘C’ word (and his defence for using it) does not make him sexist, just as a comedian who uses the ‘N’ word in a routine is not automatically a racist.

  25. latsot says


    I notice that you didn’t answer any of my questions but did wrongly suggest that my dislike of Ricky Gervais is based on his use of a single word. It is not. There are many other reasons I dislike him. I’m still intrigued about the shrinking of Ophelia’s ‘group’, though. Are you sure this isn’t a Richard Sanderson style non-existent walkout? I’m sure we’d all be interested to find out who is a member of this group and who has left due to disapproval of Gervais using the word “cunt”.


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