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Ricky Gervais Blasted For 'Transphobic' Defense Of J.K. Rowling Amid Controversy

The comedian, who is set to host the Golden Globes next month, defended his initial remark as "a joke tweet to a spoof account."

Ricky Gervais may have intended for his take on J.K. Rowling’s recent headline-making controversy to be read in jest, but not everyone is laughing.

Rowling last week angered fans when she pledged her support for Maya Forstater, a British woman who lost her job after she used discriminatory language against transgender people on social media.

The “Harry Potter” author’s comments were quickly denounced by celebrities and LGBTQ advocacy groups alike.

Gervais, however, took a different stance. On Friday, he replied to a satirical Dec. 19 article about the controversy written by Jarvis Dupont, a writer who is known to mock PC, or “politically correct,” culture.

Later on Friday, he tweeted:

Twitter users quickly called out Gervais’ comments, and the comedian responded to the criticism by emphasizing the fact that he was “playing along with a spoof account.”

In separate responses, he added:

Representatives for Gervais did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The news comes just days before the comedian, who has faced accusations of transphobia in the past, is set to host the Golden Globes for the fifth time. When he last hosted the awards ceremony in 2016, he angered viewers with an opening monologue that included jabs at Caitlyn Jenner.

In an interview published Saturday in The Spectator, Gervais said he felt many of his jokes have been misconstrued in the era of social media.

“People think that comedy is like the window to your soul. Well, it isn’t,” he told The Spectator. “A lot of the things I say, I don’t believe. And it’s a sliding scale. It’s nonbinary. Sometimes I mean it, and sometimes I 100% don’t mean it. And if I have to explain which bits I mean and which I don’t, that destroys it.”

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