Ricky Gervais as Golden Globes 2020 Host: Did He Actually Go Too Far?
Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards 2020 and many are wondering if he went too far
The Independent, a leading British news portal, has published an opinion piece that called Ricky Gervais’ hosting as ‘cheap’ and said that Gervais ‘really did come across as an idiotic clapping monkey’. Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards 2020 with plenty of controversy. From joking about Greta Thunberg to Jeffrey Epstein, he really didn’t hold back.
But isn’t that what the good folks at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wanted when they signed up Gervais? Did this not cross their mind when they looked at Gervais’ script? Did it not get vetted before the big day and is the ‘backlash’ now not a part of the good old get-viral manual? Everyone’s talking about it, the video of Gervais has hit 7.4M views on Facebook already. In a day and age when everyone’s attention span shifts with the speed of your cell phone’s scrolling function, staying in the 24-hour news cycle is definitely an achievement. And Gervais has done that.
Ricky Gervais has been a rabble-rouser every time he has hosted the Golden Globes, with his first stint being in 2010 at the 67th Golden Globe Awards. In his opening monologue he roasted everyone from Steve Carrell and his show as well as Angelina Jolie and her Asian children. At the 68th Golden Globes, which Jervais hosted, had him roasting Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp and the entire cast of Sex and the City 2. Jervais, at one point commented, ‘my lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke’. At the 69th Golden Globes, Jervais remarked, ‘The Hollywood Foreign Press have told me that if I offend you … they’ll definitely invite me back next year’. In 2016, when he hosted the award show he said, ‘I want to do this monologue and go into hiding – not even Sean Penn will find me’.
The Independent opinion piece argued that the kind of jokes Jervais made were not meant for a platform as Golden Globes. The kind of high-brow jokes that could have been cracked at the ceremony wouldn’t have gotten the traction the Golden Globes are getting now. If it’s about the perfect marriage of getting traction and celebrating free speech, Jervais was the obvious and perfect choice. But if we talk about the political correctness of Jervais’ jokes, we would have to question the fundamentals of award shows in the age of today.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that Jervais was irreverent, politically incorrect and that he unabashedly poked fun at the privilege and extravagance of award shows such as these and on multimillion dollar earners being celebrated on the occasion. If anything, Jervais was the reality check, the sucker punch that shakes the holds of complacency. One can only hope that others are as brave and as unafraid as Jervais to take the risks and be funny at the same time.