Steve Albini on Ricky Gervais: “Anti-woke trans-bash comedians are cultivating an audience I want very much not to be a part of”

“They are so comfortable in the persona they forget that they actually suck and nobody likes them,” the producer says.

Steve Albini at FYF Fest 2016

Photo: Scott Dudelson/WireImage via Getty Images

Producer and musician Steve Albini has commented on the new Ricky Gervais special, stating “anti-woke” comedians who rely on transphobic jokes should no longer be accepted, forming parallels with rockstars that actually start to become the “ironic” personas they once pretended to be.

Taking to Twitter, Albini expresses in the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “We are what we pretended to be”, stating that even though Gervais claims that his (as Albini puts it) “anti-woke trans-bash” comedic act is just a character, it has become embedded into his personality.

The producer then notes that this is a common thing seen in the rockstars he used to work with, stating: “I’ve seen bands adopt preening rockstar personae, ‘ironically’ changing their names, manner of speech, false biographies, expecting indulgences – all as a kind of comedy – until they are so comfortable in the persona they forget that they actually suck and nobody likes them.

“The problem, of course, is that eventually you’re not you anymore, you’re that prick who thinks he’s a rockstar, who acquires a drug habit as a bit and yells at an intern about a fucking deli tray. Eventually you’re literally a cigar-smoking music business guy.”

You can read the in-depth twitter thread below.

This tirade comes months after the legendary producer acknowledged that a lot of his previous provocative artistic choices, such as some of the topics of Big Black songs and naming a band “Rapeman”, came from an ignorant and privileged position.

“That was an inexcusable choice that band made.”

“The notion is that if you’re not actively doing something to oppress somebody, then you’re not part of the problem. As opposed to quietly enjoying all of the privilege that’s been bestowed on you by generations of this dominance.”


Get the latest news, reviews and features to your inbox.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

Join our mailing list

Sign Up Now

© 2023 is part of NME Networks.