Ricky Gervais: There’s Only So Liberal You Can Get, Today’s Woke Won’t Be Woke Enough for the Next Generation

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Host Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

As the old adage goes, the children of the revolution always eat the fathers of the revolution, and comedian Ricky Gervais looks forward to the day when the children of today’s woke generation call their parents fascist.

Speaking with neuroscientist and proud atheist Sam Harris on his Absolutely Mental podcast, Gervis said that he hopes to live “long enough” to see today’s woke generation get a brutal scolding from their children.

“I want to live long enough to see the younger generation not be woke enough for the next generation. It’s going to happen,” Gervais said. “Don’t they realize that it’s like, they’re next? That’s what’s funny.”

“We kicked out the old guard. We did it. There’s only so woke and liberal you can get and then you start going the other way. But it’s inevitable,” he added.

Gervias has been an outspoken opponent of cancel culture and political correctness for several years now, starting when he upset the LGBTQ community by joking about Caitlyn Jenner during his opening Golden Globes opening monologue in 2016.

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Speaking on the SmartLess podcast last December, Gervais lamented how being woke in today’s environment could be taboo in the next 10 years based on cultural shifts.

“The scary thing is being canceled if you say the wrong thing and suddenly Netflix can take you off their platform,” Gervais said.

“You could be the most woke, politically correct stand-up in the world at the moment, but you don’t know what it’s going to be like in 10 years time. You can get canceled for things you said 10 years ago,” he added.

Some might argue that cancel culture holds public figures accountable for transgressions, but Gervais said they are mistaken. For instance, if a comedian, celebrity, or anyone else expressed views that offended someone, the person can always choose to boycott them; with cancel culture, however, people are bullied into deplatforming and blacklisting others, something entirely different.

“They’re allowed to not buy your things, they’re allowed to burn your DVDs and they’re allowed to turn the telly off. What they’re not allowed to do is to bully other people into not going to see you,” he said.

Likewise, in July of 2020, Gervais said that the kind of political correctness pervading Twitter and other social media is a new kind of fascism.

“There’s this new weird sort of fascism of people thinking they know what you can say and what you can’t and it’s a really weird thing… that there’s this new trendy myth that people who want free speech want to say awful things all the time. It’s just isn’t true, it protects everyone,” Gervais said.

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If you’re mildly left-wing on Twitter, you’re suddenly Trotsky, right? If you’re mildly conservative, you’re Hitler, and if you’re centrist and you look at both arguments, you’re a coward,” he continued.

Prior to that, Gervais told Times Radio that “The Office,” the original BBC show that he created, would be destroyed in today’s environment because woke mobs take everything out of context.

“Now [The Office] would suffer because people would take things literally. There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context,” he said.


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