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July 14, 2020, 3:02 p.m. EDT

Ricky Gervais talks ‘cancel culture’ and says even ‘mildly conservative’ voices on social media are viewed as ‘Hitler’

‘Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right’

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch


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Ricky Gervais unleashes on Hollywood.

Ricky Gervais earlier this year was showered in praise, particularly from conservative corners of social media, for his savage takedown of “woke” Hollywood at the Golden Globes.

“Apple roared into the TV game with ‘The Morning Show,’ a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing made by a company that runs sweatshops in China,” he said. “So you say you’re ‘woke,’ but the companies you work for — Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -2.27% , Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.78% , Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -0.68% — if ISIS had a streaming service, you’d be calling your agents.”

Read: NY Times columnist resigns, citing ‘constant bullying’

Gervais, the British comedian who brought us “The Office,” has long raged against hypocrisy and so-called cancel culture, while managing to draw cheers — and jeers — from both sides of the aisle.

He did it again in a recent interview on talkRADIO:

‘Social media amplifies everything. If you’re mildly left wing on Twitter you’re suddenly Trotsky. If you’re mildly conservative you’re Hitler, and if you’re centrist and you look at both arguments, you’re a coward and they both hate you.’

Gervais also said that “The Office,” which just celebrated its 19th anniversary, probably couldn’t be made these days, as touchy as everybody has gotten.

“I think now it would suffer because people take things literally,” he said. “There’s these outrage mobs who take things out of context. This was a show about everything. It was about difference, it was about sex, race — all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now in case they say the wrong thing and they’re ‘canceled.’ ”

Gervais went on to say he’s afraid that the world is becoming a place where people are told not to say certain things on the chance that somebody might take offense.

“What’s not in place and what should never be in place is, you mustn’t say something that someone, somewhere might find offensive because someone, somewhere might find anything offensive,” he explained. “And I’ve always said, ‘Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.’ ”

Watch the full interview:

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Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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