Ricky Gervais responds to backlash over 'transphobic' tweets ahead of Golden Globes hosting gig

Ricky Gervais is slamming outcry over a tweet some people deemed to be transphobic.

It all started when Gervais, who is getting ready to host the Golden Globe Awards for the fifth time, chimed in on the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling. Last week, the Harry Potter author was accused of transphobia for supporting a British researcher who was fired after expressing anti-transgender sentiments. The comedian joked about the situation when replying to a tweet containing a link to a parody story.

On Monday, Gervais addressed the criticism. "It used to be considered reasonable to listen & try to understand both sides of an argument," he wrote. "But now, if opposing extremists are screaming at each other & you don’t agree 100% with either, you’re considered the enemy of both. It’s why many people are afraid to contribute at all."

He added, "Twitter is like being able to read every toilet wall in the world."

Gervais has been defending himself in recent days after the backlash.

When a user asked him to clarify his stance on transgender women, he wrote, "I think trans women are women."

He also noted how his initial tweet was "a joke tweet to a spoof account" that did not represent his "true feelings."

When someone called him "f****** gross," Gervais replied, "Just checking you realise my tweet was sarcasm. Not a problem either way, but I don’t want you to look silly."

But it's not all controversy on Gervais's timeline. The British actor is eagerly promoting his upcoming gig as host of the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, retweeting new promos for the highly-anticipated show.

The Golden Globe Awards air Sunday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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