British comedian Ricky Gervais recently sounded off on cancel culture again, but vowed never to fall victim to the online shaming practice.
The former Golden Globes host — who famously roasted Hollywood liberals during his opening monologue at the 2020 awards show and then refused to cave when the woke mob came for him — opened up about the dangers of cancel culture during an interview for the podcast, "SmartLess."
At the start of the conversation, he expressed frustration with how comedians can have their livelihoods destroyed just because they say something unpopular.
"The scary thing is being canceled if you say the wrong thing and suddenly Netflix can take you off their platform," Gervais told podcast hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett. "You could be the most woke, politically correct stand-up in the world at the moment, but you don't know what it's going to be like in ten years' time. You can get canceled for things you said ten years ago."
He went to say, "The misunderstanding about cancel culture is some people think you should be able to say anything you want without consequences and that's not true because we're members of society and people are allowed to criticize you. They're allowed to not buy your things, they're allowed to burn your DVDs and they're allowed to turn the telly off. What they're not allowed to do is to bully other people into not going to see you."
But the danger of "cancelation" extends beyond just comedians, Gervais argued, bringing up the hypothetical scenario of a doctor being canceled because of something he posts on Twitter despite it not being "relevant to what they do."
Nevertheless, the comedian, who often experiences criticism for jokes he makes online, laughed at the idea that he could be canceled.
"What is being canceled?" he asked. "It's having no platform. And what can they do to me? Who's gonna cancel me? Twitter? YouTube? If I have to, I'll go to Hyde Park and stand up on a bench and shout s**t."
Gervais went on to describe cancel culture like a form of "road rage."
"It's way too fast," he said. "Twenty years ago, if you were offended by someone on television you got a pen and paper and you went, 'Dear BBC ...', Now you fire off a tweet and that tweet goes on the f***ing news."
"It's things happening too fast that you can't take back," he added.
But "just because you're offended, it doesn't mean you're right," he concluded in a stinging rebuke.