Comedian Ricky Gervais came across a photo of a female hunter in a grinning pose next to a dead giraffe — an animal that she had just killed. The photo offended Gervais — best known for creating the original version of The Office as well as the HBO comedy Extras — so much that he tweeted the year-old photo on Monday, and set off a flood of online outrage directed at the female hunter.
The hunter is Rebecca Francis, an “extreme hunter” who won a TV reality show hunting competition in 2010, and who is a grandmother of nine who devotes much of her life to hunting and killing exotic animals with a bow and arrow.
After Gervais posted his tweet, the huntress was slammed with online abuse, ranging from insults to calls for her own death.
Here is the photo tweeted by Ricky Gervais.
What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling? pic.twitter.com/DyYw1T5ck2
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 13, 2015
As seen in the tweet, Gervais posed the question, “What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?”
But the dead giraffe was far from the first beautiful animal mercilessly killed by Francis, seen here.
She boasts about many others on her own site.
“The animals I have taken with a bow include: a 10-1/2 foot brown bear, black bear, shiras moose, Alaskan moose, dall sheep, stone sheep, desert bighorn ram, rocky mountain bighorn ram, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, mountain goat, antelope, arapawa ram, kudu, zebra, black wildebeest, giraffe, springbuck, blesbuck, lynx, badger, and squirrel. I have also taken many of the same species and more with a rifle.”
In fact, here is a picture that Francis posted with another of her “trophies.”
She is also far from the first hunter, or female hunter to generate controversy by posting smiling photos with slain animals.
In 2013, hunter Melissa Bachman posed grinning with a rifle and a dead lion, causing an earlier backlash.
Representative online responses to Rebecca Francis, a mother of eight who is reportedly in her 40s, were a poster who wished her “a lonely, painful death,” and another suggested that she should be killed by a lightning strike while still another said that she should have her breasts cut off and then be allowed to bleed to death.
Among the other replies…
@rickygervais My wife loves giraffes and I showed her the photo and all she’s said was ‘What a Bitch, I’ll kill her and lie next to her’.
— John Burton (@BertieBigSpuds) April 13, 2015
While Rebecca Francis has not directly replied to Ricky Gervais, she has been quoted saying, “I believe that you should live life to the fullest with no regrets, and push yourself to the limit.” Apparently, violently depriving animals of the same opportunity is something she sees as part of her “full” life — hence her delighted pose with a slain giraffe.