Ricky Gervais Insults Golden Globes Audience Amid Global Tensions
The 77th Golden Globes were, as expected, a night of stars, surprises (“1917” took home the top prize for Motion Picture-Drama), and some snubs (the previous issue of women and people of color not being nominated lingered throughout the whole night).
With an impeached president taking out foreign generals without Congressional approval and the entire continent of Australia on fire, it was a somber mood inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel, for sure, even before host Ricky Gervais opened the show with a vulgar-laced monologue where everyone was a target and no one was safe (not even Gervais, himself).
This was Gervais’s fifth time hosting the awards show, which is considered to be the second biggest night in Hollywood behind the Academy Awards. Each time, Gervais has given a monologue riddled with jokes that poke fun at the so-called hypocrisy of Hollywood. In last night’s opener, Gervais exclaimed “You are in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.” Whether or not the jokes are offensive — or even if, quite possibly, you’d thought Gervais wasn’t wrong — there still is a time and place for everything.
Gervais did subtly address some global issues, if only at the expense for laughs. “Remember they’re just jokes,” he started. “We’re all going to die soon.” The punchline could of course refer to the increasingly frightening issue of climate change; many celebrities brought up bushfires in Australia which have plagued the continent in an intense fire season.
Gervais also used disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the late financier Jeffrey Epstein as the butt of jokes. After the crowd reacted negatively to the Epstein dig, Gervais responded with “I know he’s your friend.” He also went after celebrities’ quick pursuit of Apple’s streaming service, Apple+. He joked, “If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent.” Not a huge laugh followed that one.
We who are watching at home know fully well that this room of celebrities can’t save the world, even if they are as generous and philanthropic. However, I think we’re allowed that luxury of one night of entertainment where, while we never forget the horrors around the world, we aren’t made uncomfortable for wanting to have a good time.
By Michael Jacobo
Photo Paul Drinkwater/ NBC/Associated Press