Daley Mayle wrote:
I have always thought that our Ricky isn't as funny as he thinks he is.
Ricky Gervais may not be everybody's taste. That's fine.
But that's not really the issue here.
The butt of the joke is the character Gervais plays and his attitude and language, not autistics or other disabled people.
In that way, what he is doing is similar to what Johnny Speight did with Alf Garnet nearly 50 years ago.
Then, as now, some people confused a scripted, fictional character with the writer and the actor playing the part.
Then, as now, the gutter press encouraged that confusion in order to stir up resentment and hatred - how long before the Mail's readership obediently responds to the dog whistle with a backlash against the disabled in the comments?
"Wot abart freeedum of speeech?", "One rule for them......", "Blue Badge scroungers", "There's nothing wrong with 99% of them - FACT", "I met a man whose brother said he knew a man whose next door neighbour claims 000s a week in handouts AND drives a Motorbility Ferrari because he told the do-gooders he only has one leg, when all the time he's the Prima Ballerina for the Bolshoi Ballet. You couldn't make it up"