Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais has tweeted in defence of JK Rowling’s recent comments attacking trans women.
Gervais has, as usual, been both criticised and praised, this time for calling trans women men and suggested they are a threat to cis women.
Earlier this week, Harry Potter author Rowling tweeted, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you want. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you… But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya”
The comments were in reference to the case of Maya Forstater, a UK cis woman whose work contract was not renewed following her own transphobic tweets.
A judge ruled that the actions of Forstater’s former employer did not breach anti-discrimination laws, The Advocate has reported.
Rowling has been slammed by Twitter users for her comments, which play into various negative stereotypes about trans women.
Gervais earlier today tweeted a series of transphobic apparent ‘jokes’ in reply to parody account Jarvis Dupont’s opinion piece ‘J.K. Rowling is a TERF!’
Gervais wrote, “Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”
In the ensuing discussion, he added, “We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex.”
He went on to taunt anyone who found his comments hurtful, and dared them to report him to Twitter for hate speech.
Following his usual practice, Gervais has retweeted a number of people who disagreed with his remarks, allowing his many avid followers to harass them.
Gervais has a history of anti-trans comments and ‘jokes’, including publicly calling Caitlyn Jenner by her prior name (or ‘deadnaming’ her) at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, and repeated mockery of the trans community in his standup shows.
Rowling has similarly been accused of transphobia before, based on her activity on Twitter and the offensive portrayal of trans character in her book The Silkworm.
She has often been described as a TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Rowling has so far not tweeted again since her provocative remarks.