The wife of Port Adelaide AFL player Jeremy Finlayson has launched a scathing attack on comedian Ricky Gervais over a joke about sick children in his new show. The British comedian's joke has been featured in promotional clips for the upcoming show on Netflix, and has sparked widespread backlash.
In the new show, Gervais explains how he sends video messages to terminally ill children via the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He joked that he always begins the videos by asking: “Why didn’t you wish to get better? What, you f***ing retarded as well?”
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Gervais quickly explains that the joke is just for show and that he never uses the word 'retard' in real life. But that hasn't stopped a cavalcade of backlash being directed at the veteran comedian, who has always expressed his opinion that no topic is off limits when it comes to comedy.
Kellie Finlayson, who is battling cancer, wrote on social media: “What the actual f***. I don’t even know why I’m giving this man airtime. But if you’re unsure what my last post was about... This man Ricky Gervais is using terminally ill children as the subject of his jokes. Disgusting. How this is even still on Instagram for people to see makes me sick. Gross.”
Finlayson said she had sent multiple complaints to Netflix. “Have had my number blocked by @netflix co-founder @reed2001 by simply asking for a call back to discuss the negative impact the @rickygervais special will have," she said. “Have spoken to (Netflix CEO) @tedsarandos himself as well as his PA at @netflix and had it flagged. Whether anything happens, which I doubt it will, is a different story. It’ll say a lot about his character if he would rather ignore me and earn a bit of money off the bank of terminally ill kids.”
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Finlayson revealed earlier this year that she'd been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. It came just months after she'd finished treatment for bowel cancer, which came shortly after the birth of Sophia in August of 2021.
While the cancer has stopped spreading, Kellie and Jeremy said she's "not out of the woods" just yet. Kellie said in September: “Obviously, with a terminal diagnosis, it’s not common for things to turn around as well as they have for me.
"The chemotherapy and all the alternate therapies that I’ve been doing and putting myself through have worked, which is obviously fantastic, but we’re not out of the woods. I’ve got to be realistic with the fact that I still have cancer and, although things aren’t spreading and things are getting better, I am still going through the emotions of what’s to come.”
Jeremy revealed how the difficult time had taken a toll on his on-field performance, and he was subsequently left out of Port Adelaide's side for their semi-final clash with GWS. “It’s been a rocky road, it’s been a long 18 months,” he said on the Morning Show alongside Kellie and daughter Sophia. “It’s kind of taken its toll, I won’t lie about that. Lately, the past three or four weeks, it’s taken its toll and it shows in footy.
“I’ve tried to put a brave face on through everything, just looking at how strong Kellie is and just trying to be her rock and just trying to put a smile on her face out on the football ground for her and Soph and trying to provide for them while she’s going through such a difficult battle. It’s all that I can do.”
After kicking 32 goals in his first 14 games this season, Finlayson only managed six in his last seven games. He was overlooked for selection in the semi-final as the Giants ended Port's season.
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