'Is ugly a disability?'

Gervais fronts new ad campaign

Ricky Gervais is to front a new advertising campaign challenging discrimination against disabled people.

He uses a character as cringeworthy as The Office's David Brent to highlight the attitude of employers in a series of new cinema ads.

The factory manager claims he would have no problem employing a disabled person, but then lists a series of ridiculous reasons why they would not fit into the workplace.

He ends by asking: "Is ugly a disability?"

The ads, written and directed by Gervais, will be shown in cinemas from December 20.

He said: "The Brentmeister general's world of fake PC was an ideal environment in which to explore this territory. I chose comedy for the jobability.com script because it's what I do and it's also a powerful tool for a serious message.

"To me, someone who you know is a bigoted idiot saying the wrong thing does as much good as someone you know who is wise and fair saying the right thing."

In The Office, Brent repeatedly makes embarrasing and inept comments to his disabled colleague, once abandoning her during a fire drill.

The website, backed by the Leonard Cheshire charity, helps employers find disabled staff to fill their job vacancies.

Published: 27 Nov 2002

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.