Earlier this month comedian Ricky Gervais appeared on "The Daily Show" and made a comment about Anne Frank that has been creating controversy ever since.
During the April 11th appearance Gervais told host Jon Stewart about the time he had to educate his friend and colleague, Karl Pilkington, about the story of Anne Frank. Karl appears on Gervais's show "An Idiot Abroad" and according to the comedian, believed that Anne Frank was a "squatter" hiding in the attic to avoid paying rent to her landlord. Gervais claimed to have educated Pilkington about the truth of the Holocaust, yet simultaneously marveled that the Nazi's hadn't found Frank sooner and joked that she'd even had time to write a book while in hiding. You can view the entire clip of the interview here.
Not surprisingly, Gervais's comments offended people. First a blogger named Dan Bloom began a petition calling for "a worldwide boycott of any TV shows" affiliated with Gervais. Then other bloggers, including the Forward, picked up the story. Eventually Gervais decided to respond in an open letter, which was published yesterday in the Jewish Chronicle and read in part:
"I often get accused of finding comedy in places where no comedy is to be found. I feel you can make a joke about anything. It just depends on what the joke is. Comedy comes from a good or a bad place and the problem is in its interpretation, with some people confusing the subject of a joke with the joke's real target. The target of this joke is the comedian's ignorance."
Bloom didn't buy Gervais's explanation and responded in an open letter to the comedian saying as much. What do you think? Were Gervais's comments on "The Daily Show" offensive?
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