Ricky Gervais supported by disability campaigner
Words: Caroline Foran
Ricky Gervais sure is getting enough publicity out of that fateful 'mong' comment he made regarding Susan Boyle. And here I am again, adding to it.
Of all the people you'd expect to come out and defend this particular comedian, one with a knack for offending certain groups in society, we didn't expect it to be a disability campaigner. Awash with criticisms about his new show and titular character Derek, Gervais has been hard at work defending claims that say the show, chronicling the story of a simple, vulnerable man working in an old people's home," makes fun of people with mental disabilities.
Interestingly, campaigner Nicky Clark who previously challenged over his 'mong' comments, stated the following upon watching the Channel 4 pilot which Gervais himself sent to her:
"each time I’ve laughed and cried... I haven't seen cruelty, I haven't seen Gervais "playing disabled" but I have seen reality in the subject matter... There are already some mutterings, from people who haven’t seen the pilot, along the lines of "here we go again I suppose he's laughing at vulnerable people". I didn't find that to be the case... Instead of it being a mocking disintegration of a learning-disabled man, paraded for the amusement of comfortable, unaffected people, it's the story that really needs to be told at the moment... It's the story of a socially isolated, gentle vulnerable man surrounded by other people who society wants to forget, but told with humour, heart and real warmth. It’s a comedy in my opinion, which shows the reality of a life of otherness."
While we thought Gervais didn't give a toss what he says or who he offends, the fact that he went out of his way to ensure Nicky Clark of all people was given the chance to see for herself whether Derek indeed is of a mocking persuasion suggests that maybe he does actually care.
"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."
Sounds like for once Gervais is looking not for a fight but rather, a break. Should the public give it to him?
Watch the teaser here and decide for yourself. Derek airs on Channel 4 on April 12th.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 11th April 2012 | Comedy
No comments have been posted for this article yet. Be the first!
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content