No doubt you’ve seen or heard about Ricky Gervais’ stint as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he tells the “comedic” story of how nuts weren’t available on his flight because a highly allergic passenger was aboard and how that wasn’t his problem. He riffed about rubbing nut residue all over his body before the next trip so when a passenger suffered an anaphylactic reaction, they wouldn’t know he was the cause.
While he makes a living being “irreverent”, we doubt Gervais would tell a story about feeding poison to the passenger with a physical disability that delayed the flight or quietly strangling a fellow passenger with a cognitive handicap because he was disturbing his first-class experience.
Why then, did he choose to denigrate a passenger with a severe food allergy that required a minor accommodation, like forgoing nuts on a flight?
Because Ricky Gervais is an idiot.
And because he’s an idiot who will simply dismiss this as a reaction from a group that is overly sensitive to his humor, we’ll address this to Stephen Burke, President and CEO of NBC instead: Once again, your network has shown insensitivity to the food allergy community, first on the Today Show, now on Tonight. Enough.
There is absolutely no need – or justification – for denigrating an entire class of people suffering from a life-threatening affliction that may someday claim your child or grandchild. We are all stricken with fear that the next reaction our loved one experiences may be fatal. Stop now.
Don’t be an idiot like Ricky Gervais.