Why Ricky Gervais Shouldn't Host The Golden Globes Again
When Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for the first time back in 2010, I wasn't one of the many people who thought his controversial jokes were not acceptable. Sure, he said some things that tiptoed across the line, but it was refreshing to have an awards show host who wasn't afraid to hold back, and by and large, many of the individuals his jokes were aimed at seemed to be OK with being made fun of so publicly. The second time around, in 2011, I was happy to see his return, but less appreciative of his jokes; instead of being progressive and thought-provoking, many of them were unfunny and straight-out offensive. And after the third time with Gervais as host this Sunday night, I was done. Despite the support I once had for him, I now firmly believe that Ricky Gervais should not host the Golden Globes again.
Whereas Gervais' hosting manner was once fantastic because he wasn't afraid of telling uncomfortable truths and highlighting Hollywood's flaws, his latest gig was a major let-down, proof that his time as a high-quality host has come to an end. The jokes he made were often mean-spirited and deeply offensive, rather than witty or cutting edge; instead of pointing out the inadequacies of Hollywood (and viewers) in brilliant, necessarily uncomfortable ways, Gervais made cheap quips without any further purpose. Just take his piece about Caitlyn Jenner; instead of finding funny ways to highlight the media coverage around her or discuss her Kardashian origins (or, simply, choosing to leave her alone), Gervais went low. He called Jenner "Bruce," before harshly joking about her transition, as well as her legal issues. There was no reason for this; Gervais didn't bring to light something funny, awkward, or new about Jenner and her place in the spotlight. He just made fun of her, pure and simple.
And it didn't end there. Gervais kept the trans jokes coming, calling out Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor for his performance as a transgender woman on the acclaimed show. Said Gervais, "At least Jeffrey Tambor did it in a dress... every day he has to put on all of the women's clothes and the hair and makeup and let people film it. That takes balls." He then, unsurprisingly, continued to discuss Tambor's genitalia, as if the idea of a man playing a female character was hilarious enough to warrant several jokes during an opening monologue.
Those were certainly Gervais' worst moments of the evening, but it's not like the rest of his duty as host was so ideal, either. Discussing presenter Mel Gibson, Gervais swerved between delivering deserved hits at Gibson's horrific past to seemingly buddying up to the star. He clearly has disdain for the controversial actor, calling him out for his past racist, anti-Semitic, and sexist comments, but that didn't stop him from seemingly palling around with him during breaks. It was a far cry from Gervais' tough stances shown in his previous hosting gigs, and a disappointment for people like myself, who once admired Gervais' commitment to a viewpoint, no matter how challenged, to see.
Of course, not every moment of Gervais' hosting duty was bad; he had several good jokes, including one memorable (and graphic) one noting how unimportant winning a Golden Globe truly is. In another, he called out Donald Trump's ridiculous comments about Mexicans in a clever way, labeling presenters Eva Longoria and America Ferrera — to their amusement — as people Trump would kick out of the country if he had his way. But overall, Gervais' work on Sunday night was frustrating at best, upsetting at worst, and I, for one, would be disappointed to see him return as Globes host once again.