Ricky Gervais is known as a smart aleck comedian, but he puts his clout as a celebrity to charitable use. The “Derek” creator was named PETA’s Person of the Year 2013 for using his social platform to preach kindness to animals to his 5.36 million Twitter followers.
According to PETA, Gervais’ tweets about animals generated 65,000 favorites and 92,000 retweets. He helped raise awareness of TV hunter Melissa Bachman‘s lion kill and the homeless dog crisis, and constantly spoke out against using animals in laboratory tests.
“Ricky Gervais makes sure that animals have their say, tweet, growl, or roar on Twitter,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk says in a statement. “He finds humor in most things, but cruelty to animals isn’t one of them. As he says himself, ‘Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them.'”
In response to being named PETA’s Person of the Year, Gervais tweets, “As God looks after all the people of the world, I thought I’d better concentrate on the animals. Please complain to the correct department.”