The glitz and glamor of Hollywood were at full throttle yet again as one of the most anticipated awards shows, the annual Golden Globe Awards, just capped its 77th edition earlier at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, California.
While this year’s highly-anticipated event showcased a lot of memorable moments, particularly a number of historic wins including a now-iconic first for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Musical or Comedy awardee, Awkwafina for The Farewell, the highly-favored Bong Joon Ho and one of the biggest films to come out in 2019, Parasite for Best Foreign Language Film, Brad Pitt’s Best Supporting Actor award for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and of course, the rightful Cecile B. DeMille award for Tom Hanks, it was the return of creator, producer, comedian, perennial “roast-er” Ricky Gervais that stole the show–in all its squirmish glory.
The five-time host, as per tradition, opened the floodgates of “jokes” during his much-awaited opening monologue with a no-holds-barred commentary on recent events that hogged Hollywood spotlight in the past year. And dare we say, Gervais was serious when he punctuated his sentences with “I don’t care,” while boldly letting out claims that this will be his “last time” hosting the show. True enough, the award-winning comic had an entire year to fill his arsenal with scathing insults and commentaries dished out under the guise of his famous dry, unapologetic humor.
From calling out pseud0-“woke” Hollywood, dropping Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein bombs early on, mocking Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating patterns, to calling out Apple, among other companies, and its position in upholding “integrity”, Gervais definitely put on an arresting show.
In the beginning, he immediately drew blood calling out executives from the sea of uncomfortable audience members and threatening them of the persistence of the #MeToo movement. He said, “In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background, and they all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow.”
Farrow is the 32-year-old investigative journalist who penned significant articles in The New Yorker, that would take the lid off numerous allegations on sexual abuse in Hollywood, particularly against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. This, as we all know, would usher in and define a cultural shift that would call for action and change.
In this same light, Gervais highlighted the onslaught of films that also unearthed stories on sexual abuse, particularly, pedophilia. He called 2019 “a big year for pedophile movies”, before reciting a rundown of releases that tackled the issue from Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, and, not one to tiptoe on controversial scandals, Two Popes.
But his most applauded comments was pertaining to would-be-awardees of the night and to put it bluntly, their hypocrisy in voicing political sentiments onstage. He noted, “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.”
The internet, as is expected, was divided on Gervais’ controversial remarks but a considerable vast majority was captivated and all-praises for the bold, “truth-bombs” that the host served denizens of Hollywood elite. Of note, one user wrote, “Ricky Gervais is showing what role comedians used to hold in our society. That of a court jester who’s the only one allowed to make fun of the king… instead of just another nameless face in a sea of sycophantic servants.“
Watch the full opening monologue here:
Header image: Screengrab from Twitter @NBCEntertainment