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Ricky Gervais defends controversial joke about terminally ill children and tells his critics...

• https://www.dailymail.co, By REBECCA LAWRENCE

Ricky Gervais has defended making a joke about terminally ill children, telling his critics he wishes them 'luck' in getting it removed from his Netflix special, Armageddon. 

The comedian, 62, has come under fire after the clip started circulating on social media, showing the star branding sick children 'baldies' and asking those who requested to meet him via the Make-A-Wish Foundation: 'Why don't you wish to get better?' 

Yet speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live's Nihal Arthanayake about the backlash, the comic insisted the joke had been taken out of context as he hit back at claims of 'ableism.'

He revealed: 'In the actual skit, I say "I've been doing a lot of video messages lately for terminally ill children. Only if they request it. I don't burst into hospitals and say, wake up baldy".'

'I'm literally saying in the joke that I don't do that. But people have a reaction. They don't analyse it. They feel something – that's what offense is. It's a feeling.'

Ricky continued: 'That's why "I'm offended" is quite meaningless. What do you want me to change?'

The star's joke prompted a petition calling on Netflix to remove the skit from his comedy special and when asked if had seen the specific wording of the petition, Ricky replied: 'Good luck. That's what I say to them. Good luck. I'll even retweet it'.


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