Last weekend was the beginning of the entertainment industry’s awards season with the Golden Globes, and it’s that time of the year when they all love to give one another a good pat on the back for the ‘excellent’ work they’ve done that year, but Ricky Gervais had other ideas.
Honestly, I do love awards season because I love to speculate on who will win big on the night, but these last few years the interest in them has started to really dwindle.
The reason? It’s hard to watch a bunch of really rich people award one another for their ‘sterling’ work and then come on stage and preach.
It comes off as being really hypocritical, but thankfully this year’s Golden Globes saw the return of Ricky Gervais who’s hosting the show for the fifth and supposedly final time.
Now, I understand that many people don’t much care for his particular brand of humour. Americans like to call him a ‘jackass’ and Brits say that he’s a bit of a ‘prick’.
He’s both those things. However, he’s also pretty smart and very switched on and realises how hypocritical Hollywood is these days.
Ricky Gervais delivered a prickly yet important opening monologue at the Golden Globes
Gervais began the night with one of the most pointed, funny and accurate opening monologues I have ever seen given at an awards show.
They usually tend to be rather dull and cringeworthy affairs where whoever’s on stage tries to make jokes at the actors’, the films’ and TV shows’ expense, yet they then add how much they love everybody in the room and how ‘talented’ they all are.
I’m so sick of hearing these sorts of opening monologues, and often they end up coming off as being really fake.
Say what you will about Gervais, one thing he’s not is fake. The guy takes to the stage being his little stand upon which rests his usual glass of beer and he started to send shockwaves through the room.
I’ve read some reports suggesting there were rolled-eyes during his speech from some of the people in the crowd, but what I saw was a bunch of overpaid actors, producers and Tim Cook squirming in their seats as Gervais told them as it is.
Hollywood is full of hypocrites. It’s full of people who’ll say anything to make sure they have some good press.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge cinephile and love movies and TV shows more than most things, but what I do not like is actors coming on stage and preaching the world to be better people.
Hollywood needed a bit of a reality check
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There’s a lot of “we have to be better people and stop injustices” from people accepting awards, yet the truth of the matter is that most of these people work for companies like Apple, Amazon and Disney.
“You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, I mean unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent,” Gervais said in front of the world’s most famous actors and Tim Cook himself.
This, I believe, was the best joke of the night, but it was also an incredibly important statement.
He then went on to add: “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.”
I couldn’t agree with Gervais more, and it’s the first time I’ve ever heard anybody go on-stage and really give Hollywood the scolding it deserves.
There’s so much wrong with the entertainment industry. There’s a huge lack of diversity – the fact that no female directors were nominated on the night is a complete disgrace – there’s still huge sexism and ageism going on, and there’s massive hypocrisy.
I know that it’s important to spread a message, and the world’s in need of people in the public eye to start speaking out against racism, sexism and climate change.
Gervais told Hollywood as it is
You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, I mean unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent,
These are huge issues and actors have a duty, I believe, to bring these issues into the mainstream media.
However, I have an issue with the fact that most of the people in the room are in the top 5% of earners in the world, and many of them do not put their money where their mouths are.
They would happily work for Amazon, Disney and Apple if it meant they got a nice fat pay-check, and Gervais is the only person in the industry who’s been brave enough to go up on stage and call them out on this.
That’s the main reason why his Golden Globes opening monologue is so important. Gervais gave them a good telling off and judging by some of the actors’, directors’ and producers’ reactions to his jokes, they didn’t much care for it.
Perhaps Gervais felt brave enough to do this because, as he said, it was his fifth and final time hosting the awards show, so why not go out with a bang, and that’s exactly what he did.
Gervais still came off as a bit of a ‘jackass’ at the Golden Globes
I know there are a lot of people out there who do not agree with me, but that’s fine. I understand why people don’t like Gervais. I get it. He’s a pretty ‘icky’ guy and he comes off as being a complete, as Americans put it, “jackass”.
I also had issues with Gervais promoting his own Netflix show, Afterlife, during the speech, and the Dame Judy Dench Cats joke didn’t go down very well with me.
However, those issues aside, I thought his speech was brilliant. It made me laugh and it made me think, and that’s what the best opening monologues should do.
It shouldn’t be eight to ten minutes of Hollywood telling itself how great it is.
What do you think? Did you like Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue at the Golden Globes? Let us know in the comments below.
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