Ricky Gervais says people are sick of Hollywood’s ‘virtue signaling’ in pre-Golden Globes take

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Comedian Ricky Gervais sat down with the U.K. newspaper The Sun for an interview on Friday to discuss the future of the Golden Globes. Gervais, who hosted five of the last ten awards shows and showered the celebrities in attendance with his irreverent brand of humor, says it might just be the end of the event as we know it.

“You can’t predict anything in this world,” he noted. “They could come back stronger than ever and be loved again or it could be the last one.”

Gervais was responding to the decision of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) to make the 2022 event “private” due to the controversy that raged last year after it was discovered that the organization had no black voting members. That proved to be embarrassing to the group whose roots were conceived with the motto: “Unity Without Discrimination of Religion or Race.

After the lack of black membership was revealed, however, the HFPA tried to save face and was quick to point out that the majority of the group is made up of women and that 35% of the members come from non-European countries.

Another discovery last year added more fuel to the fire heating up against the Golden Globes awards program: accusations of voter tampering were made, alleging that some voting members had been wined and dined by nominees or their representatives, in clear violation of established norms.

This led to the privatization of the Golden Globes Awards show in 2022, as announced on Twitter: “This year’s event is going to be a private event and will not be live-streamed. We will be providing real-time updates on winners on the Golden Globes website and our social media.”

Gervais prides himself on his irreverent take on life and doesn’t shy away from controversy. He says his favorite Golden Globes gig was the 2020 Award show, which took on a life of its own after his particularly-biting humor took aim at many of the big names in attendance:

  • Looking at all the wonderful faces here reminds me of the great work that’s been done this year – by cosmetic surgeons.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was 3 hours. Di Caprio attended the premiere. By the end his date was too old for him.
  • Lots of big celebrities here tonight. Legends. Icons. On the same table, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Baby Yoda. Oh, no, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry.


Gervais said he regrets making fun of only one person during his time as Golden Globe Awards host:  Tim Allen. In the lead-up to a presentation being made by Allen and his “Toy Story” franchise co-star Tom Hanks, Gervais made a general joke about Hanks’ astronomical success, which assured that anyone standing next to him would look weak. On that day, Allen was the unlucky target, and Gervais felt bad about making him think it was directed at him specifically. Other than that, Gervais feels that the stars deserve what they get.

He described his time at the Golden Globes over the years: “The first time I did it, ten years ago, everyone was like, ‘Ah, how can you talk to these wonderful multi-millionaires, how can you talk to these beautiful people, like that? We love celebrities’. By the last one it was like, ‘God, give it to them, we hate celebrities!’”

“I know what it is. With all of the austerity and people struggling, they think, ‘Why are these people lecturing me? They’re going   to an awards ceremony in a limo and are telling me to recycle?’ People just got sick of it, just got sick of virtue signaling. And they were like a beacon to aim their wrath at.”

“The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything.”

The Golden Globes were handed out Sunday night; you can check the Golden Globe Awards Twitter feed for the results. Reportedly no celebrities took up the HFPA on their offer to present at the ceremony this year, despite the organization reportedly reaching out to multiple publicity agencies to inquire about talent; this is likely due to the negative press surrounding the event last year, which caused many Hollywood publicists to advise their clients to avoid events put on by the HFPA until they took corrective action.

Gervais has no regrets about anything he has said in his time with the Golden Globes; indeed, he is realistic in his assessment:  “You have to make a decision as a comedian. Do you pander to the 200 most privileged people in the world in the room or the 200 million watching at home?”

Well done, Ricky.


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