Ricky Gervais is sounding off about cancel culture, arguing that we're getting perilously close to losing our freedom of speech.
"If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don't like them, that's everyone's right. But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don't like their opinion about something that's nothing to do with their job, that's what I call cancel culture and that's not cool," he told Metro in a new interview. "You turning off your own TV isn't censorship. You trying to get other people to turn off their TV, because you don't like something they're watching, that's different."
People should be allowed to say critical things without fear of financial retaliation, he said.
"Everyone's allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone's allowed to burn your DVDs, but you shouldn't have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn't like. And that's what we get dangerously close to," he said. "If you don't agree to someone's right to say something you don't agree with, you don't agree with freedom of speech."
The controversial comedian recalled someone voicing their displeasure with a statement he recently made on social media, which prompted Ricky to fire back with an unexpected analogy.
"I did a tweet a month ago about freedom of speech, quoting Winston Churchill. Someone came back with, 'You know he was a white supremacist?' And I wrote back, 'Not in that tweet he isn't,'" Ricky said. "It's like if someone did something once that's wrong, everything they did was wrong. You are allowed to have things in common with bad people as long it's not the bad things."
He added, "I'm a vegetarian and I love dogs, like Hitler. But the only thing I have in common with Hitler are the good bits!"