Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ricky Gervais on offending people

Ricky Gervais: You can't worry about offending people - Telegraph:
A comedian's job isn't just to make people laugh, it's to make them think. If there's a meaning to it, and a substance and a bit of a depth, then you're doing something. Now, here's the rub: offence, is never given, its taken. If you're not offended by something, then there was no offence, it's as simple as that. If you are offended by something, walk away. I'm offended by things all the time but I haven't got the right not to be offended, and remember this: just because someone is offended it doesn't mean they're right.

Some people are offended by equality, some people are offended by mixed marriage, some people are offended by everything. You can't worry about that. And you can't legislate against stupidity. I'm not one of those comedians who thinks my comedy is my conscience taking the day off, my conscience doesn't take a day off. I can justify everything I do. You have got to be able to look someone in the eye and tell them why you made that joke. And if I'm doing stand-up and I go suddenly go, oh God, I hope so-and-so isn't in tonight, then I shouldn't be doing that joke.
Italics mine.

Related: Stephen Fry on being offended, plus Penn & Teller