Ricky Gervais refuses to apologise after ‘dead baby’ jokes offended bereaved parents who stormed out of show

Ricky Gervais

by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Ricky Gervais has defended controversial "baby jokes" he made at a show which upset newly bereaved parents

It's a well-known fact that Ricky Gervais isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Like Marmite in human form, people tend to either love or hate him. His style of rather controversial jokes can either be taken personally, or people are reduced to hysterical laughter.

But one couple who went to see him live on his Humanity tour walked out of the show in tears.

Marmite in human form, Ricky offended recently bereaved parents with a joke in his Humanity show (Credit: Getty Images ©Getty Images

Ryan and Suzi Gourley were on their first night out since the death of their stillborn son Eli in July last year when a joke that the Office star made deeply upset them, causing them to walk out of the show.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Suzi said: "I know people take things differently and I know our emotions are raw, but why joke about a baby being dead? It's just wrong.

"Some people might read this and think we're over-sensitive and maybe we are – but it's just not funny. We went and hoped to have a bit of a laugh. It was our first night out together – I'd heard of this comedian but I'd never seen him.

"I didn't know what his jokes were like but I wouldn't have expected that in a million years from anybody."

Ryan and Suzi Gourley were on their first outing after the death of their stillborn baby (Credit: Facebook/ Ryan Gourley) ©Facebook/ Ryan Gourley

And whilst the comedian has taken to Twitter to comment on the situation, he has sadly appeared to mock the couple rather than let it lie or even apologise.

Not that we would expect him to!

After the interview came out, he almost immediately posted a multitude of tweets that seemed to make the parents out to be over-sensitive.

Ricky's Humanity tour is going all over the world (Credit:Twitter/ Ricky Gervais) ©Twitter/ Ricky Gervais

He began by explaining himself in a straightforward way, posting an image of himself with text laid over the top which read: "I see offence as the collateral damage of free speech. I hate the thought of a person's ideas being modified or even hushed because someone somewhere might not like to hear them."

However, he then began to retweet posts from his fans which seemed to mock the parents. One person wrote: "My nan's dead, I hope there won't be any dead nan jokes to offend me."

Others leapt to Ricky's defence, with one writing: "Why haven't media outlets reported that the couple offended by Ricky Gervais joke didn't mind famine, rape, AIDS and cancer jokes?"


Another wrote: "The joke was NOT about dead babies but about Ricky Gervais' fear of being a crap parent! Humanity is brilliant!" and someone else posted: "His joke was taken our of context, the joke was aimed at himself no-one else. Everything should be up for topic/comedy - mum of angel baby."

Ricky himself then posted many tweets, some saying: "I'm coming to Sheffield next week. Warning: Contains many jokes that may offend your nan," and: "I wish I had a pound for every time I offended someone. Wait, I do."

He also wrote: "All jokes should be banned in case anyone is offended. Discuss."


Whilst we know that Ricky has the right to basically say anything he wants in his show, we're not sure he handled it very well.

Have you ever been so offended by a comedian that you've had to leave the show? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more like this:

Ricky Gervais slams bull fighters: ‘F*ck anyone torturing animals for fun- I hope it wins’

Ricky Gervais slams Tories over proposal to bring back fox hunting

This petition is calling for babies born sleeping at 20 weeks to be counted as stillbirth rather than miscarriage

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us