Ricky Gervais Faces Backlash Ahead of Golden Globe Hosting Gig for Tweets Deemed Transphobic

In November, it was announced that Ricky Gervais would host the Golden Globe Awards for the fifth time

Ricky Gervais is under fire for what some consider to be transphobic tweets, just weeks before he is set to host the Golden Globe Awards for the fifth time.

On Friday, Gervais, 58, responded to a tweet regarding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling‘s support of a British researcher who was fired after expressing anti-transgender sentiments. (Rowling faced backlash after tweeting her support of Maya Forstater on Thursday after Forstater lost a court hearing challenging her termination from the Centre for Global Development.)

The tweet that Gervais replied to contained a link to a satirical article that was written from the “perspective” of a transgender woman.

“Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life,” Gervais tweeted. “They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”

A rep for Gervais did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Actor And Comedian Ricky Gervais Interviewed For SiriusXM's Town Hall Series With Hosts Jim Norton & Sam Roberts
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When a Twitter user responded to Gervais’ tweet writing, “Kindness is magic,” the comedian replied: “Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonize an entire sex.”

“But if I’ve said anything transphobic you should report me,” Gervais responded to another tweet. “Twitter has rules in place to guard against that sort of vile bigotry. My account will be closed down and you’ll be proved right and will have saved millions of lives. Why aren’t you doing this?”

However, in another reply, Gervais claimed that his original tweet was “a joke tweet to a spoof account.”

“Ah, you’ve confused a joke tweet to a spoof account with my true feelings,” he wrote. “But to answer your question I have nothing against anyone looking after their mental health. Be well.”

“Just checking you realize my tweet was sarcasm,” Gervais added in another reply. “Not a problem either way, but I don’t want you to look silly.”

“I fear that some people’s inability to discuss sensitive or contentious issues without insult or threat will lead to society ending like a battle scene from Game of Thrones,” the star wrote in another tweet on Saturday. “Hopefully, science, truth & common sense has all the dragons.”

In a separate response, Gervais added: “I also make jokes about AIDS, Cancer, Famine and The Holocaust. Those things do a bit of harm too. But jokes don’t. Have a nice day.”

In November, it was announced that Gervais would host the upcoming 77th annual Golden Globes, making his fifth time hosting the awards show.

News of Gervais’ casting came after more awards shows have opted to forgo an emcee altogether, starting with the Academy Awards in February of this year. When controversy caused the previously announced Oscars host Kevin Hart to step down, the Academy proceeded with a host-less program.

Gervais — who won a Golden Globe in 2004 for his performance in The Office‘s original U.K. series — previously hosted the show in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. He will now hold the record for the performer who has hosted the Globes the most.

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