The sharp-tongued host, who promised to be nicer as he emceed the awards show for the fourth time on Sunday, threw a barb at the former Olympian that drew ire and was dubbed transphobic.
"I've changed. Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course. What a year she's had. She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes," he said, before referring to her fatal February 2015 car accident. "She didn't do a lot for women drivers, but you can't have everything, can ya?"
And in defending himself on Tuesday, he threw another public figure under the bus.
"Suggesting a joke about Caitlin Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist," Gervais wrote, referring to "The Cosby Show" star's sexual assault scandals.
Still, people took issue with the slight against Jenner, which "The Office" alum framed as a joke about her driving, not her transition into a woman.
"But it WAS Bruce Jenner who changed. Into Caitlyn Jenner. And I respect that. Just not her driving," he said in response to a follower. He then tweeted: "I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I'm #TransportPhobic."
Gervais' monologue and controversial antics throughout the show swiped at Jenner, Cosby, Mel Gibson and others, as well as the gender pay gap in Hollywood, despite his promise to go easier on his subjects. In all, the NBC telecast brought in about 18.5 million viewers, a dip of about 5% from last year's show, which was hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
But the "Derek" star didn't stop at his Jenner joke on Tuesday. He also launched into a diatribe about offending people and not apologizing for his jokes, saying that he loves it when Twitter users argue and in the future, everyone will be offended by him "for 15 minutes."
"You have every right to be offended. Just don't cry when no one cares," he added.
Then in a series of tweets, and using saltier language, he said that hosting the Globes made him want to go back to stand-up comedy, which would be where people are "allowed to be offended."
"Don't offended people realise they are doing my marketing for me," Gervais continued, posting a photo of himself flipping the bird.