Elon Musk calls out 'virtue signaling' critics who panned new Ricky Gervais special - Daily Mail
elon musk calls out 'virtue signaling' critics who panned new

Elon Musk calls out ‘virtue signaling’ critics who panned new Ricky Gervais special – Daily Mail


Tesla CEO Elon Musk called out ‘virtual signaling’ critics who panned a new Ricky Gervais stand-up comedy special, despite audience members rating it highly.

The stand-up special on Netflix, ‘Supernature,’ has been criticized for being ‘transphobic,’ and the comedian also jokes about racism, identity politics and Hitler.

Still, many who watched Gervais’ show tweeted about how much they enjoyed it, and on Sunday, The Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf tweeted a screenshot from movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes showing that 92 percent of the more than 250 people who watched the special rated it well.

At the same time, though, only 14 percent of seven professional critics gave the stand-up routine a high rating.

In response, Musk wrote: ‘The “critics” seek not to critique, but rather to virtue signal.

‘They are out of touch with the people, and so lose their credibility with the people.’  

Tesla CEO Elon Musk called out ‘virtue signaling’ critics who  panned a new Ricky Gervais stand-up comedy special, despite audience members ranking it highly

That tweet came in response to The Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf sharing a screenshot from Rotten Tomatoes showing that while only 14 percent of seven professional critics approved of Gervais' new stand-up special, 92 percent of those who watched it liked it

That tweet came in response to The Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf sharing a screenshot from Rotten Tomatoes showing that while only 14 percent of seven professional critics approved of Gervais’ new stand-up special, 92 percent of those who watched it liked it

Musk wrote that the critics are 'out of touch with the people, and so lose their credibility with the people' in a tweet on Sunday

Musk wrote that the critics are ‘out of touch with the people, and so lose their credibility with the people’ in a tweet on Sunday

Gervais’ new stand-up special came just one week after the Netflix dished out a new ‘culture memo’ to staff telling them that if they are offended by the content the company is working on, they can leave.

The new guidance came largely in response to workers saying they would part ways with the company if it continued to work with Dave Chappelle, whose recent specials for the streaming giant have caused backlash over jokes about transgender people.

The policy, titled ‘Artistic Expression,’ asserts that brass at the company will not ‘censor specific artists or voices’ even if employees consider the content ‘harmful.’

In response to a tweet noting the change, Musk tweeted, ‘Good move by @netflix.’

His tweet was a stark about-face from an earlier online assertion in April, in which he slammed the streamer for pandering to progressive staffers while hemorrhaging subscribers. 

‘The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,’ the world’s richest man wrote at the time, responding to a tweet about the subscription service’s recent abysmal subscriber numbers.

Musk wrote in a follow-up tweet: ‘Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?’

 At the time, the company’s quarterly report revealed that the company had lost 200,000 users between January and March this year, causing shares to plummet by 25 per cent, with a further 2 million subscribers set to leave by June.

The stand-up special aired just one week after Netflix changed its guidance asserting that executives will not 'censor specific artists or voices' even if employees consider the content 'harmful.' A staff member Dave Briggs is seen here holding a placard as he attends a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout in October

The stand-up special aired just one week after Netflix changed its guidance asserting that executives will not ‘censor specific artists or voices’ even if employees consider the content ‘harmful.’ A staff member Dave Briggs is seen here holding a placard as he attends a rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout in October

By April, the Tesla CEO criticized Netflix for catering to a woke audience

By April, the Tesla CEO criticized Netflix for catering to a woke audience 

He later applauded a move by Netflix to stop censoring content - and telling employees that if they are upset with the content it produces, they can leave the company

He later applauded a move by Netflix to stop censoring content – and telling employees that if they are upset with the content it produces, they can leave the company

And since Gervais’ new special aired last week, the comedian has found himself under fire for the comments he made about transgender individuals.

Just minutes into his opening monologue, Gervais yawns to the crowd as he talks about ‘those old-fashioned women, you know, with wombs’. 

He later moves onto quips after transgender women and pronouns, drawing huge laughs from the crowd when he mocks up a debate over gendered toilets. He at one point references his transition to becoming ‘Vicky Gervais’.

Gervais later offers a strong rebuttal to cancel culture, reminding audiences that their opinion on a comedian’s work isn’t necessarily the prevailing thought of everyone.

‘When someone says to me: ‘Oh they’re not funny’, even if I agree with them I say ‘well you can’t say that, you don’t find them funny’.

‘I hate when people say: ‘That joke was offensive’. No, you’ve got to say you found it offensive. It’s all about feelings, and feelings are personal.’ 

Turning his attention to a new brand of ‘woke comedy’, in which he says comics are required to sign a waiver before their sets promising not to say anything contentious, he told the audience he would rather watch stand-up comedian Louis CK masturbate.

‘Can’t mention him anymore, he’s cancelled. Not enough to apologize and move on’, he jokes. 

Comedian Ricky Gervais has been slammed as ‘transphobic’ since his stand-up routine, Supernature, premiered last week

Talking to the audience about cancel culture and the transgender issues during the opening monologue, Gervais tells the audience: ‘Ah women. Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned women, you know the ones with wombs? Those f***ing dinosaurs. 

‘I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c***s. They’re as good as gold, I love them. 

Ricky Gervais’ gags which kickstarted a Twitter row 

Mocking up a debate over gendered toilets, Gervais starts the joke: ‘They are ladies, look at their pronouns. What about this person isn’t a lady? 

‘Well, his penis.’

‘Her penis you f****** bigot’.

‘What is he rapes me?’

‘What if SHE rapes you?’ 

Turning his sights onto a new branch of ‘woke comedy’, in which he says comics are required to sign a waiver before their sets promising not to say anything contentious, he jokes he would rather watch American stand-up comedian Louis CK masturbate.

‘Can’t mention him anymore. He’s cancelled’, he adds. 

Gervais later tells his audience: ‘You can’t predict what will be offensive in the future. You don’t know who the dominant mob will be. 

‘Like, the worst thing you can say today, get you cancelled on Twitter, death threats, the worst thing you can say today is, ‘Women don’t have penises’, right?

‘Now, no one saw that coming. You won’t find a ten-year-old tweet saying ‘Women don’t have penises.’ You know why? We didn’t think we f***ing had to!’

Discussing the minorities and the demographics of Britain, Gervais points out: ‘We’re 5 per cent black, 5 per cent Asian. 5 per cent LGBQT.

‘I’m a white, heterosexual multi-millionaire. There’s less than one percent of us.

‘Do I whine? No. I don’t mind’. 

In another joke towards the end of the show in which he addresses self identity, Gervais says he supports trans rights – a remark met by cheers by a few members of the audience.

He adds: ‘Full disclosure. In real life, of course I support trans rights. I support all human rights and trans rights are human rights. 

‘Live your best life, use your preferred pronouns, be the gender that you feel that you are. But meet me halfway ladies, lose the c**k, that’s all I’m saying.’  

‘And now the old-fashioned ones say ‘oh, they want to use our toilets’. Why shouldn’t they use your toilets? For ladies! They are ladies — look at their pronouns!’

Acting out a discussion, he adds: ‘What about this person isn’t a lady? “Well, his penis.” Her penis, you f***ing bigot! “What if he rapes me?” What if she rapes you, you f***ing TERF w***e?’

Later, as he discussed Kevin Hart’s decision to remove himself from hosting the Oscars in 2018 after historical homophobic tweets emerged, Gervais tells his audience: ‘You can’t predict what will be offensive in the future. You don’t know who the dominant mob will be. 

‘Like, the worst thing you can say today, get you cancelled on Twitter, death threats, the worst thing you can say today is, ‘Women don’t have penises’, right?

‘Now, no one saw that coming. You won’t find a ten-year-old tweet saying “Women don’t have penises.” You know why? We didn’t think we f***ing had to!’

And in another joke towards the end of the show in which he addresses self identity, Gervais says he supports trans rights – a remark met by cheers by a few members of the audience.

He adds: ‘Full disclosure. In real life, of course I support trans rights. I support all human rights and trans rights are human rights. 

‘Live your best life, use your preferred pronouns, be the gender that you feel that you are. But meet me halfway ladies, lose the c**k, that’s all I’m saying.’  

The British comedian also didn’t hold back in the program and also joked about ‘taboo’ subjects including Hitler, famine and AIDS.

Some people on Twitter have since praised the British comedian for the ‘zero f***s given’ approach to the Netflix special.

One viewer said: ‘How dare comic/actor Ricky Gervais have funny and accurate jokes about people with zero self awareness!’

Another said: ‘Well, the far left mob is at it again, trying to cancel comedian Ricky Gervais for making jokes about trans people. 

‘I saw the bit and though the jokes were fine. Light-hearted, no hate. I’ll have to hurry and watch the whole show now in case it gets removed.’

A third added: ‘I’m watching #SuperNature in part because everyone is already offended. 

‘Being offensive is comedic currency, and the world has all but lost that perspective. Thankful Ricky Gervais doesn’t give a s**t because I’m only five minutes in and I’m crying.’

Others took to Twitter to share their enjoyment of the special, which was filmed on his most recent tour.

One wrote: ‘I’m not even 10 minutes into #SuperNature and this is hands down the funniest comedy special I’ve ever seen.’

Another said on Twitter: ‘I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud as much at a stand up show as I am currently at SuperNature. Ricky Gervais, absolutely brilliant.’

Some people have taken to Twitter to criticize the stand-up special for the controversial topics it broaches

Some people have taken to Twitter to criticize the stand-up special for the controversial topics it broaches 

But others took to Twitter to criticize the stand-up routine for the controversial topics it broaches.

One viewer said on Twitter: ‘Netflix, care to comment on the bigoted hatred? Platforming hate, be it racism, homophobia, sexism OR transphobia is wrong! 

‘So why air Ricky Gervais’ bigotry? Why encourage others to target trans people with these ‘jokes’. It’s NOT edgy, its NOT controversial, IT’S HATE. STOP!’

Another said: ‘Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today. 5 minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. 

‘To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.’

A third added: ‘Ricky Gervais is a disgrace, he is going to cause hate crime and ultimately the death of Trans folk. Anyone who needs to vilify minorities to get a laugh is the most evil hateful soul and seriously needs mental help.’

Gervais has since spoken up about the criticism he has received

Gervais has since spoken up about the criticism he has received 

Gervais won a National Comedy Award for Best Stand Up Show for the stand-up special

Gervais won a National Comedy Award for Best Stand Up Show for the stand-up special

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, pictured here in 2021, has defended Gervais and comedian Dave Chapelle for their apparently transphobic remarks

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, pictured here in 2021, has defended Gervais and comedian Dave Chapelle for their apparently transphobic remarks

In response to these criticisms, Gervais told The Spectator: ‘My target wasn’t trans folk, but trans activist ideology. I’ve always confronted dogma that oppresses people and limits freedom of expression.’ 

He again retorted against woke critics as he told The One Show in the UK that comedy should be used as a tool for ‘getting us over taboo subjects so they’re not scary any more’.

He said: ‘I think that’s what comedy is for, really – to get us through stuff, and I deal in taboo subjects because I want to take the audience to a place it hasn’t been before, even for a split second.

‘Most offence comes from when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target.’

He added: ‘I think that’s what comedy is for – getting us over taboo subjects so they’re not scary anymore. 

‘So, I deal with everything. And I think we second guess the audience too much.’

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has also since defended Gervais and comedian Dave Chapelle, telling the New York Times over the weekend: ‘I think it’s very important to the American culture generally to have free expression.

‘We’re programming for a lot of diverse people who have different opinions and different tastes and different styles,’ he explained.

‘We want something for everybody, but everything’s not going to be for everybody.’  

On Sunday, Gervais received a National Comedy Award for Best Stand Up Show for the stand-up special. 

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