Ricky Gervais was hired to deliver a monologue at the start of the 77th Golden Globe Awards and it went about as exactly as you would expect.
Before the assembled crowd of nominees and assorted entertainment industry dignitaries, Gervais returned to his usual brand of performatively provocative one-liners with a pint of beer in hand, aimed at the people in the room and plenty outside of it.
Though Gervais has hosted the ceremony before, his history of transphobic comments led many to question whether he deserved to have the platform of one of the year’s most-watched awards shows. Gervais doubled down on his standard dismissive approach. “Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars because of some offensive tweets. Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English,” Gervais said. “Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon, and there’s no sequel.”
(That last remark seems to imply that Gervais is an atheist, a belief that he has surprisingly never espoused on a public platform before this monologue.)
There was a rundown of the usual topics from the year in entertainment: Felicity Huffman was the target of one joke (to the apparent horror of Tom Hanks). Leonardo DiCaprio’s history of dating much younger women was also discussed. Another joke implied that every TV and film executive is mortified of the existence of Ronan Farrow — if that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s the same premise for a joke delivered 15 months ago at the 2018 Emmys.
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Proving that no public space is free from a discussion of Marvel movie criticism, Gervais played both sides of the aisle, first going after the people involved in the creation of the superhero movie genre. “The actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids,” Gervais said.
Then, he turned his attention to Martin Scorsese, jumping off of the legendary director’s recent comments comparing superhero films and theme parks. “I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s not big enough to go on the rides,” Gervais said. (Scorsese appeared to take the joke in stride.)
Gervais concluded his opening remarks by doing his best to — as usual — undercut the importance of the very show he’s hosting. He used the Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show” as his jumping-off point. “A superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China,” Gervais said, proceeding to decry the existence of megaconglomerates within entertainment.
“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and fuck off,” Gervais concluded.
These remarks came sentences after Gervais reminded the viewing audience of the existence of the second season of a TV show in which he stars and executive produces, which is available on a streaming platform run by a company worth approximately $140 billion.