Ricky Gervais has stirred up one different controversy with a joke in his new Netflix specific “Armageddon,” which hasn’t even come out however.

In a teaser clip launched by the comedian, Gervais jokes about terminally sick kids, calling them “baldy” and the R-slur. Now, higher than 12,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding Netflix take away the joke from Gervais’ upcoming stand-up specific, which hits the platform on Dec. 25.

Immediately after the controversial “Armageddon” joke, Gervais says to the viewers, “These are all jokes, all correct? I don’t even use that phrase in precise life, the R-word. … I’m having fun with a activity.”

In an interview with Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Reside’s “Headliners” podcast, Gervais often known as out “faux” outrage in direction of him, and in distinction the petitioners to “hecklers.”

“I can play to 1,000,000 people, I gained’t get a criticism,” Gervais talked about. “As rapidly as a result of it goes on Netflix or as rapidly as someone writes up a joke that claims that’s offensive, people go, ‘Oh, that’s offensive.’ They haven’t even heard the joke. They weren’t there. Ignore them. They don’t rely. They don’t have any influence on me. They don’t rely. They’re hecklers.”

The petition in direction of Gervais and Netflix is organized by Anna Villa, who writes inside the description that she is a dad or mum whose teenager “bravely battled most cancers.”

“The present skit by Ricky Gervais on Netflix, the place he refers to terminally sick kids as ‘baldy,’ shouldn’t be solely disrespectful however moreover deeply hurtful,” Villa writes. “It mocks the braveness and resilience of these youthful fighters who face their illness with grace and sweetness no matter their baldness.”

Villa offers that “Gervais’ jokes weren’t solely distasteful however moreover heartless,” and “a slap inside the face to not solely the children battling these essential sicknesses however moreover their mom and father and households who stand by them by means of this troublesome journey.”

“Our children are normally not a punchline, their lives aren’t a joke,” Villa writes. “That is the rationale we demand that Netflix take away this offensive skit from its platform immediately. We think about that comedy must in no way come on the expense of one other individual’s ache or struggling — significantly when it entails innocent kids battling life-threatening sicknesses.”

Chatting with BBC, Gervais ceded that offending people is an “occupational hazard” for a comic book, nevertheless social media has enabled heckling akin to “shouting out of a window.”

“They solely want a response … being ignored has the an identical psychological influence as being slapped inside the face. So I truly, truly benefit from ignoring people,” Gervais talked about.

He added that he stays out of politics, nevertheless on stage he’ll embody a left-wing or right-wing persona, counting on what matches the joke. “Some people suppose {{that a}} joke is a window to the comedian’s true soul,” Gervais talked about. “It’s merely not true. It’s a joke.”

Speaking about critics of his new specific, he talked about, “They’re allowed to hate it. They’re allowed to not come to the current, nonetheless it’s not going to stop me doing what I actually like, and I’m not going to stop it on the expense of all the other people who adore it. No one has to look at this.”

Gervais moreover took to X/Twitter earlier this week to provide his own kind of content warning regarding his new stand-up specific. “On this current, I discuss intercourse, demise, paedophilia, race, religion, incapacity, free speech, world warming, the Holocaust and Elton John,” Gervais wrote. “For many who don’t approve of jokes about any of this stuff, then please don’t watch. You gained’t benefit from it and likewise you’ll get upset.”

Gervais’ earlier Netflix specific, “SuperNature,” equally drew criticism for its jokes mocking trans people, with the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD calling the comedy hour “dangerous” and saying it consists of “anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes.”

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Gervais and Dave Chappelle, who moreover took objective at trans people in his 2021 current “The Nearer,” saying that comedians “[cross] the street every now and again.”

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