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Ricky Gervais Defends ‘Dead Baby’ Joke After Audience Members Walk Out

Ricky Gervais Defends ‘Dead Baby’ Joke After Audience Members Walk Out

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by Jerome Hudson31 Mar 20170 31 Mar, 2017
31 Mar, 2017

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERComedian and actor Ricky Gervais has come out in defense of a “dead baby” joke he reportedly made during a stand-up performance earlier this week in Belfast, Ireland.
The Office star’s joke reportedly prompted a grieving couple who had just lost a child to walk out of the show.SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
“I just think, ‘Why? What is the need?” Suzi Gourley, the grieving mother who bolted Gervais’ show, told Belfast Live. “This is our life, we have no choice but to live with this.”
“I know people take things differently and I know our emotions are raw, but why joke about a baby being dead? It’s just wrong,” Gourley continued. “Some people might read this and think we’re over sensitive and maybe we are – but it’s just not funny.”

In response to the growing controversy, an unapologetic Gervais hopped on social media Thursday to defend his material.

“Is there any subject you shouldn’t joke about?” is no less ridiculous a question than “Is there any subject you shouldn’t talk about?”
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

In a series of tweets, the comedian said making jokes “about bad things” doesn’t mean he supports those things.

Offence often occurs when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target. They’re not always the same.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

Discuss. pic.twitter.com/8DjwSiMxVX
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

Jokes about “bad things” don’t have to necessarily be pro those bad things. Surely, a joke that’s anti bad things is a good thing, no?
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

Basically, offence is about feelings, and feelings are personal. People simply don’t like being reminded of bad things.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

Injecting some levity into his response, Gervais wrote “All jokes should be banned in case anyone is offended. Discuss.” To which he followed up with, “I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do.”

All jokes should be banned in case anyone is offended. Discuss.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

Gervais sent one last message cautioning audiences of the controversial material his standup comedy involves.
“Warning: My stand up mentions AIDS, cancer, Paedophilia, famine, race, terrorism, rape, murder, drugs, death and even food allergies,” he wrote.

Warning: My stand up mentions AIDS, cancer, Paedophilia, famine, race, terrorism, rape, murder, drugs, death and even food allergies.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 30, 2017

The Waterfront Hall, where Gervais’ Humanity tour Belfast show was played issued a statement, according to Sky News: “Unfortunately we have no control at all over the material artists choose to use on stage, but we do of course appreciate this particular theme will have caused distress.”
Gervais has a history of sticking up for non-politically correct jokes. In January of last year, the comedian defended jokes he made about Caitlyn Jenner at the Golden Globes after critics labeled him “transphobic.”
 
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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