Comedian condemns celeb hunter Rebecca Francis for killing giraffe
An internet fall out between comedian Ricky Gervais and celebrity hunter Rebecca Francis is quickly turning into a long-running feud.
Last Monday, Gervais posted a picture of Francis lying next to a giraffe she had killed with a bow and arrow, with the comment: "What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal and lie next to it smiling?"
Gervais has a huge following on Facebook and Twitter, and many of his fans were quick to share their outrage. Some went so far as to call for Francis to be hunted and shot. It was already getting messy.
Francis defended herself by giving an exclusive statement to HuntingLife.com, claiming that under normal circumstances she would never hunt a giraffe, but on this occasion was asked to do so after the animal had been kicked out of his herd by a younger bull giraffe.
"They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival," said Francis. "He was inevitably going to die soon and could either be wasted or utilized by the local people. I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second."
Gervais was not convinced.
This Tofu & Rice was old and sad and wanted me to kill it. Now I will eat it. pic.twitter.com/5vsstpUZaL— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 16, 2015
After killing that giraffe out of the kindness of her heart and feeding the poor locals she had these for pudding. pic.twitter.com/P3nP4ACDKI— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 16, 2015
Let's hope these Trophy Hunters never get old and sick and separated from the herd ;)— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 20, 2015
You don't use a bow & arrow and then take a smiling selfie in a mercy killing. She wanted to murder a giraffe & she did. Fuck the bullshit.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 20, 2015
The continued criticism prompted Francis to give another statement to HuntingLife, in which she argued that Gervais had specifically targeted her because she is a woman: "Ricky Gervais has used his power and influence to specifically target women in the hunting industry and has sparked thousands of people to call for my death, the death of my family and many other women who hunt."
Other female hunters, including Kendall Jones, Eva Shockey, and Anna Voisek have suffered abuse on social media, while the same backlash rarely occurs during similar incidences involving male hunters.
Since the statement, Gervais has insisted that his motivations in calling out Francis have nothing to do with gender.
"I kill lions, giraffes & bears with guns & bows and arrows then pose grinning. Why don't people like me? Must be because they're sexist"— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 17, 2015
We need to stamp out this terrible sexism in the noble sport of trophy hunting. The men & women that do it are EQUALLY vile & worthless.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 18, 2015
The debate is bound to continue for a long time yet.