Ricky Gervais Is PETA’s Person Of The Year

Iconic Comic Will Joke About Almost Anything—Except Animal Abuse

For Immediate Release:
December 23, 2013

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles Ricky Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards, and a Rose d’Or and been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and now he can add PETA’s Person of the Year 2013 to his credentials.

At a time when social media influences everything from presidential elections to popular music, Gervais keeps his 5.3 million Twitter followers laughing, shaking their fists, and buzzing about animal abuse, such as Melissa Bachman’s killing of a lion (“‘@MelissaBachman: incredible day in South Africa! Stalked this male lion…what a hunt! pic.twitter.com/Gerc9AfmGo’ spot the typo”), while dishing out tips such as this one about PETA’s cruelty-free cosmetics campaign: “Dear intelligent people of the world, don’t get shampoo in your eyes. It really stings. There. Done. Now fucking stop torturing animals.”

Gervais’ tweets don’t just take the Mickey but also offer animal-friendly solutions about everything from remembering the homeless-dog crisis (“When you’re shopping, give a few quid to an animal home”) to finding alternatives to animal experiments, even if done tongue-in-cheek: “We should free laboratory animals and only test cosmetics on internet trolls. They’d get the attention they crave and they’d look nicer.”

Gervais’ social-media influence has earned him a top Klout score among comedians and netted him more than 65,000 favorites and 92,000 retweets for his tweets about animals in 2013. His other animal advocacy work includes appearing in this animated video against fur and exotic-animal skins, in which he supplies the voice for a rabbit, with rocker Pink in the role of the crocodile.

“Ricky Gervais makes sure that animals have their say, tweet, growl, or roar on Twitter,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “He finds humor in most things, but cruelty to animals isn’t one of them. As he says himself, ‘Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them.'”

For more information, please visit PETA.org. Further examples of Gervais’ pro-animal tweets are below:

  • “If you could bottle ‘happy dog’ it would cure everything. I love it when their whole body wags. Magical.”
  • “Freedom of speech, rationality, truth and honesty. This is my religion. Oh, and cats. & dogs. All animals. Some people. Alcohol is good too.”
  • “When xmas shopping please don’t buy into cruelty. No fur, no foie gras, & don’t give anyone a Cliff Richard calendar. That’s just nasty”
  • “Mmmm..pistachios…my little vegan clams.”
  • “I reckon Zombies are grumpy all the time because they only eat red meat. They must be constipated for eternity.”
  • “Most people I’ve met who weren’t kind to animals weren’t kind to people either. Kindness is kindness. Simple as that.”
  • “As much as I love seeing heartless morons gored to death, I can’t take the risk of 1 innocent animal being hurt for fun. #banbullfighting”
  • “Whether you believe in evolution or magic, be nice to animals :)”
  • “How can anyone abandon a beautifully loyal dog? It’s not an accessory. It’s your best fucking friend. It makes me so sad & angry.”

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind