Ricky Gervais apologizes for Down syndrome tweets

Oct 21, 2011 at 8:54 p.m. ET

Ricky Gervais has apologized for repeatedly using slurs against people with Down syndrome on his Twitter account.

Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais has seen the error of his ways and is now apologizing for using a slur for people with Down syndrome on his Twitter page.

The controversial comedian finally realized the error of his ways after hearing the mother of two children with Down syndrome crying on a BBC Radio show.

Nicola Clark broke down while describing the abuse hurled at her daughters by people calling them names like "mong" -- the very slur whose use Gervais had been trying to defend.

Gervais' argument was that the word was no longer derogatory and that he would never direct it to someone with Down syndrome.

After realizing he was wrong, Gervais wrote to Clark on Twitter, "A very public thank you for your kind, rational and understanding words in private."

"Never dreamed that idiots still use that word aimed at people with Down's Syndrome. Still find it hard to believe."

Ricky Gervais shares his Twinkie with Emmy watchers >>

Clark asked Gervais, "How has the response to your use of it online and in the press made you feel?"

"A mixture of confusion, anger, terror and disappointment," he answered. "But mostly naive. Never meant the word like that and never word [would]."

Clark offered forgiveness in another tweet. "I think that had I not spoken to you, I would have believed that you were a bully. The tweets seemed out of step with your work," she wrote.

"Well all I can do is apologise and hope they don't confuse those people's views with mine," Gervais wrote.

Image courtesy HRC/WENN.com