Austin Hargrave / The Hollywood Reporter
The British funnyman and co-creator of The Office is hosting Sunday's ceremony, marking his fifth time in a decade and first since 2016. And he is already stirring controversy.
In December, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling's expressed support on Twitter of researcher Maya Forstater, who lost her job for tweeting that people cannot alter their biological sex. Parody account @JarvisDupont, which mocks PC culture and white privilege, joked that Rowling is a "TERF" (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), to which Gervais responded, "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." The LGBTQ+ community and their supporters were not amused.
"Jarvis Dupont is a spoof Twitter account, and the joke is that he's so woke that he's actually gone full circle and does terrible things. And his latest [bit] is, 'I'm trans now.' And he gets all that wrong. And I responded by playing along with him, saying, 'Oh, you're so much better than biological women because they've had a lifetime to get used to it,'" Gervais told The Hollywood Reporter in a cover interview released on Thursday.
"Now, people saw my tweet and they thought he's a real trans person, but I'm taking the piss out of Jarvis Dupont, who is actually a woman in real life. And this is the problem," he continued. "You can say, 'Listen, I was joking. It's a joke.' But that's not always enough for people. They go, 'Well, why were you joking?' Also, add to that the nature of Twitter — it's so curt, there's no nuance, it's there forever out of context."