Ricky Gervais slammed for joking about terminally ill children

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



They wish he would just go away.

Ricky Gervais, 62, is under fire for labeling terminally ill children “baldies” and calling them “retarded” in his upcoming Netflix stand-up special “Armageddon.”

In a clip Gervais posted to his social media pages last week, he jokes about making videos for sick children via the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“I’ve been doing a lot of video messages recently for terminally ill children,” Gervais explains. “Only if they request it, obviously. I don’t burst into hospitals and go, ‘Wake up, baldy. Look at me twerking on TikTok.’”

“I did a lot through the pandemic — presumably because they couldn’t even see their own family,” continued “The Office” co-creator. “It’s through Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

In a clip Gervais posted to his social media pages last week, he jokes about making videos for sick children via the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Kevork Djansezian/BAFTA LA/Getty Images For BAFTA LA

Gervais said that if a kid requested him, he would “always say yes, and I always start the video the same way.”

“Why didn’t you wish to get better?” the comedian deadpanned, drawing a mixed reaction from the audience. “What, you f–king retarded as well?”

“The Invention of Lying” star told the crowd that he doesn’t “do that either,” adding that “these are all jokes.”

“I don’t even use that word in real life, the R-word,” Gervais stated, telling the audience that he is “playing a role.”

The five-time Golden Globes host claimed he was convincing because he’s “good.”

“My throat closed up and tears sprung to my eyes at his words, ‘Why don’t you wish to get better?’ Because that is what we do wish for,” Katherine Litchen, whose 4-year-old son, Teddy, suffers from neuroblastoma, told SWNS. Courtesy of Kat Litchen / SWNS

“You wouldn’t level that accusation at other art forms,” Gervais argued in the clip, using Sir Anthony Hopkins’ role as Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs” as an example.

“You wouldn’t go up to Sir Anthony Hopkins and go, ‘I saw you in ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ what, so you’re a cannibal, are you?’”

The Post reached out to Gervais and Netflix for comment.

Despite his insistence that it was just a joke, several parents of terminally ill kids did not find it funny.

“The punchline of his joke is the suffering of children and parents whose greatest wish is for them to get better, but nothing in the world can grant it,” she continued. Courtesy of Kat Litchen / SWNS

“I was actually a fan of Ricky Gervais but after watching his stand up with my family and hearing multiple jokes about terminally ill children and especially kids with cancer I had to turn it off,” former soccer player Ashley Cain, 33, wrote in the comment section of the Instagram clip.

“Some things are not funny, especially to the parents that are left behind. You can get cancelled in this world for so much, yet making a mockery of dying children is ok? I’m so mad at this!”

Cain, who appeared on “Ex On The Beach,” lost his 8-month-old daughter, Azaylia Diamond, in 2021 to leukemia.

“I find it particularly troubling that Gervais used an ableist slur — retarded — to describe terminally ill children,” Litchen added. Courtesy of Kat Litchen / SWNS

“This is absolutely VILE. How people would ever find this funny is truly beyond me,” another person commented.

One parent told SWNS that Gervais’ remarks felt “like a punch in the gut.”

“My throat closed up and tears sprung to my eyes at his words, ‘Why don’t you wish to get better?’ Because that is what we do wish for,” Katherine Litchen, whose 4-year-old son, Teddy, suffers from neuroblastoma, told the outlet.

Warning: Video contains sensitive language and content.

“The punchline of his joke is the suffering of children and parents whose greatest wish is for them to get better, but nothing in the world can grant it,” she continued. “I find it particularly troubling that Gervais used an ableist slur — retarded — to describe terminally ill children.”

She added: “The word is a weapon of derision towards those who are born with or acquire a disability, and Gervais’ use of it in a globally aired stand-up comedy show is helping to maintain the social acceptability of discrimination against disabled people.”

Gervais’ “Armageddon” is slated to hit Netflix on Christmas Day.

Litchen hopes Gervais will donate proceeds from the special to charities to fund research into new treatments for pediatric cancer.





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