Ricky Gervais believes that many of the debates around cancel culture are really a conflict between generations. In a new interview on neuroscientist Sam Harris’ Absolutely Mental podcast (via NME), the creator of The Office said, “I want to live long enough to see the younger generation not be woke enough for the next generation. It’s going to happen.”
The episode is titled “Why do we laugh?” and also covers topics such as the science behind tickling and the mechanics of standup comedy. When it came to political correctness, Gervais said of his generation, “We kicked out the old guard. We did it. There’s only so woke and liberal you can get and then you start going the other way. But it’s inevitable.”
As for younger people, he said, “Don’t they realize that, it’s like, they’re next. That’s what’s funny.”
His statements come as politicians use the idea of a wokeness as a cudgel in the culture wars, and comedians such as Dave Chappelle purposefully court controversy. Chappelle recently sided with “team TERF” during his Netflix special The Closer, which sparked a backlash against Netflix and led the company’s CEO to suggest that such comments don’t “translate to real-world harm.”
Speaking of Netflix, Gervais’ latest television show, After Life, was recently picked up for a third season on the streaming giant.