Ricky Gervais has found himself in the middle of the celebrity photo scandal that rocked Hollywood over the weekend. On Monday, Hollywood Life posted the text of a now-deleted tweet that the English comedian wrote regarding the massive iCloud hack that leaked dozens of private photos of famous females, including Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, supermodel Kate Upton and Nickelodeon alum Victoria Justice. Gervais allegedly suggested that celebs could “make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.”
The backlash was immediate, and the comic quickly took to his social media account to do some damage control. Gervais later tweeted, “Of course the hackers are 100% to blame but you can still makes jokes about it. Jokes don't portray your true serious feelings on a subject.” He also posted a series of tweets about freedom of speech and a joke “erotic” photo of himself that he dared others to retweet.
While Gervais’ assessment of the celeb scandal wasn’t exactly funny, other stars defended the victims’ rights for privacy. “Girls” star Lena Dunham tweeted, “The ‘don't take naked pics if you don't want them online’ argument is the ‘she was wearing a short skirt’ of the web. Ugh.” Dunham also urged fans not to look at the leaked photos online, and called the hacker “a sex offender.”
Comedian Seth Rogen was also outraged. The actor and screenwriter tweeted, “Posting pics hacked from someone’s cell phone is really no different than selling stolen merchandise.” But he quickly clarified his statement so as to not raise any eyebrows, adding: “I obviously am not comparing women to merchandise. Just legally speaking, it shouldn’t be tolerated to repost stolen pics.”
Legally speaking, the FBI and Apple are both investigating the breech as more names are being added to the list of celeb victims. As for Gervais, what's so wrong about what he said about the nude celebrity photo leak? Well, everything.
In the end he made an insensitive joke that backfired, and the violation of privacy is what he should have focused on instead of “blaming” the celebrity victims. Still, the sharp-tongued comic may be on to something, whether celebs want to admit it or not. Because, unfortunately, after this massive Internet invasion, high profile celebrities may really have to start to think twice about what they put on their computers.