Funnyman Ricky Gervais has defended his upcoming TV show Afterlife, insisting he is not attempting to "undermine the moral fabric of America".
The Office creator revealed earlier this week (beg18Jul11) he is working on a new comedy with writer Clyde Phillips, about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven.
But he is furious it has already been labelled an "atheist comedy" and is urging fans not to judge the show until they've seen it.
In a post on his official blog, Gervais writes, "How is a show called Afterlife, about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven, an 'Atheist Comedy'? He goes to heaven. Therefore in this work of fiction heaven must exist. So does God by the way. Turns out the atheist was wrong. How is that an atheist comedy?... I can't win.
"The Invention of Lying proposed an alternative world where there was no God. That was an atheist comedy too. Seems the existence or non-existence of God in my work has no bearing on whether it's an atheist comedy or not. It just is. Because I wrote it right? That's so weird... We've come up with this show because we think it will be fun, different and entertaining. Not to undermine the moral fabric of America.
"Here's what I suggest you do; wait till Afterlife is finished then watch it. Or not. But if you watch it then you're allowed to have an opinion... You can start a campaign to get it banned. You can hate it. And trust me, it's so much more fun saying you hate something once you've actually seen it. So, please wait, watch and find out if it's controversial or inflammatory first, yeh?"