Ricky Gervais Is Absolutely Right About Hollywood’s Woman Problem

Paul Treadway/UPPA/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


In an interview with Radio Times, English actor and comedian Ricky Gervais expressed his frustration with how women are portrayed on TV and in Hollywood movies, especially comedies. (The 52-year-old co-creator of the UK’s The Office was promoting his show Derek, which returns for a second season in April. He said his show will soon feature some “real, good, modern girl power.”)

“I love writing interesting female characters because usually they’re props, particularly in comedy,” Gervais said. “Even in Hollywood, they’re usually air heads or if they’re ambitious they’re straight away cold and need to be taught a lesson. They need to show that getting a man is more important than getting a career. Or they’re just props for men to do funny things…People think that men rule the world but they don’t, really. That was never my experience growing up and certainly not at Broad Hill [nursing home]. Men, when they’re together, revert to the playground.”

(Gervais is correct; Hollywood absolutely does have a womanand girl—problem.)

For this, Indiewire declared him the “Hollywood Feminist of the Day,” which fits nicely with some of Gervais’ other comments:

Gervais has also spoken about atheism, war, racism, rape jokes, obesity, Nelson Mandela, Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and animal rights, typically in very funny ways.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.