Menu
Entertainment

Audience members walk out after Gervais' dead baby joke

"I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do,” Ricky Gervais tweeted after learning he had offended audience members. Andy Kropa

BRITISH comedian Ricky Gervais has declared no topic is off limits after controversy erupted about a joke about dead babies.

The funnyman was performing his Humanity tour show in Belfast earlier this week when a gag caused some in the audience to walk out and complain.

Specifics are unknown but the joke, involving dead babies, caused upset among bereaved parents, AP reported.

Suzi and Ryan Gourley left a Ricky Gervais stand-up show after a joke about dead babies.
Suzi and Ryan Gourley left a Ricky Gervais stand-up show after a joke about dead babies. Facebook

Ryan and Suzi Gourley's son Eli was stillborn last year and told Belfast Live they were dumbfounded by the inclusion of such a sensitive topic.

"I just think 'Why? What is the need?' This is our life - we have no choice but to live with this,” Ms Gourley 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.”

It was her first night out since the couple's tragic loss, she said.

"Some people might read this and think we're oversensitive and maybe we are - but it's just not funny,” she said.

"We went and hoped to have a bit of a laugh. It was our first night out together - I'd heard of this comedian but I'd never seen him. I didn't know what his jokes were like but I wouldn't have expected that in a million years from anybody.”

Non-profit group Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support shared a warning about Gervais' show on Facebook, warning grieving parents about the dead baby joke.

"Going out after a loss can be a difficult thing to do - there are feelings of doubt, thoughts that you shouldn't be enjoying yourself as it's somehow disrespectful to your child's memory,” they wrote.

Ironically, Gervais took to Twitter after the gig in question to praise the "unshockable” crowd, obviously unaware of the walkouts.

But when the controversy emerged, he defended his material and described questions surrounding it "ridiculous”.

Offence was "collateral damage of free speech,” he Tweeted.

In a string of messages posted on the website, Gervais said "feelings are personal” and was unrepentant.

"I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do,” he wrote.

Ricky Gervais hosts the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2016.
Ricky Gervais hosts the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2016. Paul Drinkwater

It's not the first time one of Gervais' jokes has upset people. While hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2016, he made fun of transgender advocate Caitlyn Jenner and sparked a backlash.

In the aftermath, he once again took to social media to defend himself.

"Suggesting a joke about Caitlin Jenner [sic] is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist,” he wrote.

Topics:  celebrity comedian ricky gervais



Valla search unable to find missing swimmer

An aerial view of Valla Beach.

Hopes of finding swimmer who went missing at Valla Beach are fading.

Son of Ibrahim's bodyguard gunned down in Coffs Harbour

SHOOTING VICTIM: Nemilote 'Nim' Ngata (right) with John Ibrahim. Ngata was shot in Coffs Harbour on February 10, 2018.

The son of Semi Ngata, shot three months ago, was hit by a shotgun

Environment groups walk away from NSW forestry negotiations

LOGGING LOGGERHEAD: Peace between environment groups and the NSW Government is threatened.

Agreements between government and environmentalists threatened

Local Partners

Shock twist: MAFS affair explodes

THE secret affair of MAFS contestants Dean and Davina has come to fiery blows after being publicly exposed. The final decision left everyone stunned.

Stone the flamin’ crows: Home and Away actor's new project

Ray Meagher has launched his own line of hot sauce.

Stone the flamin’ crows! Actor releases own line of hot sauce

Audience member shocked penis puppeteer

Rich Binning and Barry Brisco from Puppetry of the Penis.

It takes a lot to shock Rich Binning who appears nude on stage

What’s the greatest 1980s movie ever?

That lift, featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, back when she had a normal nose.

From Dirty Dancing and Crocodile Dundee to Die Hard

Jennifer Lawrence flaunts her nudity on set

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the premiere of "Red Sparrow" at the Newseum on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Washington. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)Source:AP

Jennifer Lawrence so comfortable on Red Sparrow set, she went naked

Bardot’s biggest secrets finally revealed

L-R: Belinda Chapple, Tiffany Wood, Sally Polihronas, Sophie Monk and Katie Underwood made up Bardot.

Popstars girl group Bardot’s biggest secrets finally revealed

How three Aussie movie-makers lured Helen Mirren

Jason Clarke and Helen Mirren in a scene from the movie Winchester. Supplied by Studiocanal.

It took a lot of work for three Aussies to lure the Oscar winner