• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Ricky Gervais Condemns Horse Racing, Lashes out Against Critics

Ricky Gervais Devil Golden Globes Promo - P 2012
Todd Antony

In a BBC radio interview about a controversial TV show in the U.K., the British comedian took a shot at the "six or seven journalists" who have predicted the end of his career.

LONDON - Comedian Ricky Gervais is at it again, creating controversy with a BBC Radio interview on Thursday in which he took a shot at his critics and condemned horse racing, saying that it involved animals being "slaughtered for fun."

Gervais also called out the "six or seven journalists" who have been predicting the end of his TV career, the Guardian reported.

The comments came in the context of a discussion over Derek, a one-off show created by the British comedy star for the U.K.'s Channel 4. The comedy drama aired Thursday evening and featured Derek, an autograph hunter who works in a nursing home.

Gervais first performed that character a decade ago, but was criticized ahead of its broadcast for making fun of people with learning disabilities The comedian told BBC Radio 5 Live that he "never considered him disabled," but simply a "funny little nerd." He was "bored" by the controversy generated by his latest project following such past controversies as his performance as host of the Golden Globes, Gervais said.

"Everything I do it's just… every single week has been the end of my career if you believe six or seven journalists," he continued. "It makes no difference to me or my work. I don't care if people like it or not. I'm happy with it, I get the final edit."

Gervais argued that in the end all the media discussion is "just noise." He added: "It's just graffiti. Most people make their own minds up, which is good…I'm offended by many things. It's nothing to do with right or wrong, it's just my personal opinion."

The BBC radio show Gervais appeared on was broadcast from Aintree, the location of the big horse racing event known as the Grand National this weekend. Asked about things that offend him, the comedian told the show's host: "Well, you are at Aintree. I don't think that people should make horses jump over things being whipped, and when they injure themselves, they are put down because they are not worth having around because of economic reasons."

Added Gervais: "Basically a beautiful majestic beast that took 2 billion years to evolve has just been slaughtered for fun. But I don't go to Aintree, that's how I do it. The only valid form of any sort of censorship of ideas in art is the right of people not to listen."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai