They knew what they were getting. That’s all British comedian Ricky Gervais had to say on Monday in response to negative reaction from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and some critics to his take-no-prisoners comedic stylings at Sunday night’s Golden Globes . The comedian viciously skewered some of the town’s biggest sacred cows with some pointed jabs at the awards show.
“Everyone took it well,” he said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter, of his onstage broadsides against such targets as the president of the HFPA and actors Robert Downey Jr., Tim Allen and Steve Carrell. “And the atmosphere backstage and at the after show was great.”
Despite his assessment, even during the show his sharply worded introductions and opening monologue appeared to rub some of the stars the wrong way. Following Gervais’ quips about Downey Jr.’s troubled past and trips to rehab and jail, the “Iron Man” star took the stage and labeled the show “hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones,” with a tight smile on his face.
Downey Jr. wasn’t the only one who thought Gervais pushed the envelope. HFPA president Philip Berk felt the comedian crossed a line when he introduced the executive by joking, “I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in.”
Berk told the Reporter that “some of the things he said were totally unacceptable.”
Despite some of the grumbling, Gervais denied reports that he had been fired from the show or pulled off the air in retaliation for his jibes, which also skewered Angelina Jolie, Charlie Sheen, Cher, Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis. The speculation came after the host was not seen for nearly an hour in the midst of the event, where “The Social Network” and “Glee” went home big winners.
“I did every single introduction I was meant to,” Gervais insisted. “There just happened to be a long gap. This is because I was allowed to choose who I would introduce in advance. I obviously chose presenters who I had the best jokes for. (And who I knew had a good sense of humor).”
While honoree Robert DeNiro also took some playful jabs at the HFPA (and, strangely, Javier Bardem) in his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award — during which he alluded to the organization’s famously sycophantic relationship with big Hollywood stars — a member of the HFPA told AOL’s Popeater that Gervais’ jokes were too much.
“Ricky will not be invited back to host the show next year, for sure,” said the HFPA member about the possibility of a Gervais three-peat as Golden Globes emcee. “For sure any movie he makes he can forget about getting nominated. He humiliated the organization last night and went too far with several celebrities whose representatives have already called to complain.”
For his part, Gervais was unapologetic about his performance, but realistic about his chances of hosting again. He told USA Today that he’d been asked to host this year’s event during his praised performance in 2010, while noting that he had yet to receive an invitation to the 2012 ceremony at the conclusion of Sunday night’s show.
“That’s ominous, isn’t it?” he said. “So I probably won’t be here next year.”
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