Splitsider

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Ricky Gervais Claims to Not Be Mocking the Disabled with His Obviously Disabled New Character


Ricky Gervais has a new show premiering on Channel 4 in the UK on Thursday entitled Derek. In it, he plays the titular character, a nursing home employee who sure appears to have some mental disabilities of one kind or another. He's coming under some fire for making fun of the disabled, but he defended himself by saying that “Derek is a fictional character and is defined by his creator. Me. If I say I don’t mean him to be disabled then that’s it. A fictional doctor can’t come along and prove me wrong.” Which is a fair point! But it's also fair for people to assume the worst from a guy who found a lot of hilarity in using the word "mong" over and over again on Twitter and then posting pictures of himself making "mong faces." So, you know, he's kind of earned the skepticism at this point.

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  • http://twitter.com/joshung Joshua Ungerleider

    I'm not sure if I get the logic. If Gervais creates a black character, who seemingly is a racist depiction, is it okay just because Gervais says it isn't racist, and he created the character?

    I think intention is important, but just because you don't intend to offend, doen't mean something isn't offensive.

    • Carl Hess@twitter

      @Joshua Ungerleider True, though does anyone actually believe that Gervais doesn't mean to offend with this? Offending has kind of been his shtick for a few years now.

    • Sam

      What a crock of shit. Is What's Eating Gilbert Grape mocking and offensive because Leonardo DiCaprio played a character with a disability? Are we going to have to resort to making every character a straight white man with no quirks just to stay PC? Grow up.

  • Victor

    From the reviews I've read, he's not mocking and he's not making fun of Derek at all. So let's wait and watch and see for ourselves.