Ricky Gervais opening monologue at the Golden Globes was driven with a heavy dose of shock factor, humour and unsolicited truth as he began the night in the most casual fashion. “You’ll be pleased to know, this is the last time I’ll be hosting these awards,” he began, before announcing to the whole award ceremony that he simply doesn’t care anymore. And this is the moment, where the traditional structure of a Hollywood awards ceremony is destroyed, because this is a moment where the superiority and pretence of celebrity and Hollywood as an institution, is categorically broken down throughout the night.
A moment which struck out like a knife, is his ode to Netflix. Now many know Gervais as a comedian, but just last year he had audiences sobbing and laughing at his Netflix show ‘Afterlife’ which he wrote, directed and starred in. So when he’s stood in front of memorable actors and actresses claiming that nobody goes to the cinema anymore, or cares about film because it’s all about Netflix, it hung in the air like a self depreciating joke. “You could binge watch the entire first season of Afterlife instead of watching this show” he flexes, whilst the camera cuts to celebrities in the audience either looking tipsy, or categorically perplexed. Now, while this may not have gone down well with the audience at the golden globes, it went down a storm with social media, especially young people on Twitter where they have branded Gervais a ‘modern day hero.’ However, many are expressing their anger towards his speeches on the night, using adjectives such as ‘arrogant’ and ‘chaotic’ to describe him.
The reception from the night was celebrated mostly for him mentioning Jeffrey Epstein and insinuating that most in the room were friends with him at some point- a breakthrough moment which had us pause for breath at home. And this was the only moment that wasn’t looked at negatively by those boycotting Gervais on Twitter.
The arrogant undertones and self promotion of his presenting style flowed through to the audience, who found the golden globes difficult to watch because of it. Claims that the ‘tradition of the night and rewards culture’ were destroyed because of his potent humour have been rife, and it’s looking like Gervais is skating on thin ice to becoming cancelled. Despite becoming somewhat of a taboo, he’s also being celebrated for his honesty’ and ‘cut throat’ approach to destroying the superficial nature of rewards systems. Whatever you may think of Gervais, it’s becoming clear that his speech had a love/hate approach but regardless, he’s become the biggest talking point of this decade so far.