I read recently that ‘comedian’ Ricky Gervais made a joke about dead babies on his current stand-up tour.
After being criticized for it, he arrogantly alluded to it on Twitter stating: “”Is there any subject you shouldn’t joke about?” is no less ridiculous a question than “Is there any subject you shouldn’t talk about?”
Making light of a devastating situation is not the same as not talking about it. Laughing at dead babies simply trivializes a topic that is already dogged by prejudice and taboo. Making it into a horrible laughing matter is twisted and desperate.
I’m a bereaved mother who lost babies, so I know damn well how hurtful and cruel it feels when people take the piss out of what I was (and still am) going through. Sure, laugh at the bigoted, hateful bullies of this world – it robs them of their power to repress if they are not being taken seriously. But the death of a baby? There is literally nothing that can be made fun of with that and absolutely no justification for doing so. At all.
This often avoided subject requires open, honest and serious conversations in order for it to gain momentum for exploration and understanding. It does not require the impact of this hard work to be degraded by unfunny people with a mic and an audience. If Gervais understood this pretty simple concept, then he might see through the haze of his own selfish stupidity and understand the wrong he has done.
This is just cheap, lazy and desperate “comedy” from someone that clearly has little imagination if they try and find humour in something like infant loss.
Luckily, the amazing charity, Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) have issued a trigger warning, advising audience members attending future performances that there is this horrible ‘joke’ in his routine.
I have never found Ricky Gervais remotely funny and have never once cracked a smile watching him, ever. Now that he has plunged to new depths, I find him worse than unfunny – I find him distasteful and revolting.
His ignorant attitude blatantly shows why serious debate and dialogue is required.
I do not blame the parents in the audience who had recently lost a baby and who walked out. If it was me, even 10 years on, I would have walked out too.
Just be pleased Ricky, that you have absolutely no idea whatsoever about how it feels to lose and then bury your own baby. I wouldn’t wish this waking nightmare on anyone.
Always loved, never forgotten.
If you would like to know more about Sands and for their invaluable help and advice, please visit their website: https://www.sands.org.uk/
Gervais Photo credit: RAY TAMARRA/GC IMAGES