Gervais defends his 'dead baby' joke | Grieving couple walk out in distress

Gervais defends his 'dead baby' joke

Grieving couple walk out in distress

Ricky Gervais has hit back after a couple walked out of his stand-up show over a joke about a dead baby.

Belfast Live reported the couple, Suzi and Ryan Gourley, lost their newborn son last July.

Although the comedian has a reputation for risqué jokes, Suzi said she wasn’t aware of his material.

 ‘I didn’t know what his jokes were like but I wouldn’t have expected that in a million years from anybody,’ she said.

‘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. Some people might read this and think we’re over sensitive and maybe we are - but it’s just not funny.’

Although it’s not clear what the joke was, Gervais defended his material on Twitter.

‘Basically, offence is about feelings, and feelings are personal. People simply don't like being reminded of bad things,’ he wrote. ‘Offence often occurs when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target.

‘Basically, offence is about feelings, and feelings are personal. People simply don't like being reminded of bad things. All jokes should be banned in case anyone is offended. Discuss.

Gervais also issued the warning: ‘My stand-up mentions AIDS, cancer, Paedophilia, famine, race, terrorism, rape, murder, drugs, death and even food allergies

And he also gloated: ’I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do.’

Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, where Gervais was playing when the Gourleys walked out, said: ‘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.’

Published: 30 Mar 2017

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