For many years, Hollywood award shows have been little more than an excuse for liberal elitists to cloister in ballgowns and pat one another on the back for how “woke” they are. Actors who make millions of dollars off everyday people take the stage to lecture them on what they should believe about politics and religion.
Well, legendary comedian Ricky Gervais set out to change the score last night. The Berkshire, England native hosted the Golden Globes on Sunday and opened the show with a now-famous, viral monologue. In it, he took aim at the hypocrisy of Hollywood and awards shows like the one he was hosting. Here is his monologue in all its off-color, cruel glory:
Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue just broke Hollywood pic.twitter.com/9ap6B0JOsy
— Barstool News Network (@BarstoolNewsN) January 6, 2020
As Gervais dug deeper and deeper into the hypocrisy of Hollywood, the stars and starlets in attendance grew increasingly uncomfortable. Their reactions of shock, befuddlement, and outright anger are now circling the globes as various memes, like the one involving Tom Hanks.
Going Out With a Bang
Gervais made his attentions known from the outset, announcing that he would not be hosting the Golden Globes again (the 2020 installment was his fifth time at the helm):
“You’ll all be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so, I don’t care anymore… I’m joking… I never did.”
He then warned his audience about where they were going, saying:
“Let’s go out with a bang. Let’s have a laugh at your expense, shall we? Remember: they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon, and there’s no sequal, so… yeah, remember that.”
“I came here in a limo tonight,” Gervais said, preparing his first direct shot at Hollywood, “and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman.”
This drew immediate groans from the crowd. Gervais was referring, of course, to Huffman’s brief prison stint as a result of her involvement in the college admissions scandal.
Friends of Epstein
But the snipe at Huffman was hardly the farthest Gervais was prepared to go. He then launched into a series of screeds aimed at reminding Hollywood of their seedy, sexually inscrutable underbelly.
“In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world, people from every background, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for ya. He’s coming for ya.”
Farrow is, of course, the journalist notorious for breaking the Harvey Weinstein story which sparked the #MeToo movement. The former Miramax producer is set to begin trial on Monday, and Gervais’ acutely-timed attack struck at the core of Hollywood’s moral vacuum.
Gervais began ramping into a bigger attack, centered on the film industry’s indifference to original, creative projects.
“No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to the cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone’s watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out going ‘well done, Netflix. You win. Everything. Good night. But no, no. We’ve got to drag it out for three hours.”
You could binge-watch the entire first season of After Life instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself because his wife dies of cancer, and it’s still more fun than this, okay? Spoiler alert: season two is on the way, so in the end, he obviously didn’t kill himself… just like Jeffrey Epstein.”
Gervais evoked the popular internet conspiracy theory/meme that maintains that the New York socialite and accused-sex trafficker did not commit suicide in prison, but rather was murdered by one of his influential friends, among them politicians and Hollywood celebrities. The room responded to his joke initially with laughter, but it was quickly drowned out by louder groans. Gervais couldn’t help but respond:
“Shut up! I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.”
Apple Doesn’t Belong Here
Throughout the monologue, Gervais launched attacks at Hollywood for allowing nontraditional sources to produce the most important and creative content of the year. But his closing attack on Apple and the hypocrisy of Hollywood rang the loudest.
“Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing made by a company that runs sweatshops in China,” the host said, with Apple CEO Tim Cook displayed briefly on camera.
“Well, you say you’re woke,” said Gervais, addressing the Hollywood audience, “but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”
Yet another groan came from the audience as Gervais launched into the final punchline of his monologue:
“So if you do win an award tonight, please, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? 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 [popular climate change activist 17-year-old] Greta Thunberg.”
“So, if you win, right? Come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your god, and f**k off. That’s it!”
A Much-Needed Lesson?
Gervais’ speech immediately went viral, as many around the social media world celebrated a lesson Hollywood had needed to hear for years.
I couldn’t care less about @rickygervais’s politics and whether or not we agree on a majority of issues.
He’s a comedic genius who had the guts to say what no one else did or would.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 6, 2020
Soleimeini is going to be surprised when he wakes up in hell. @rickygervais is going to be surprised one day when he wakes up in heaven.
— Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) January 6, 2020
Ricky Gervais roasting an entire ballroom full of celebrities without giving a single f*** is the energy I hope to bring with me through all of 2020 https://t.co/4yc3yHSYh4
— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) January 6, 2020
Yes, the positive respondents were mostly conservative. And yes, sadly, the Hollywood elites in attendance proceeded with a show so insipidly political that any of the several dozen viewers who might have tuned in for the Golden Globes in the first place turned it off. But Gervais’ lesson is a valuable reminder that there are still some in Hollywood who see the problem.
Unfortunately, it fell mostly on deaf ears. But that’s okay for conservatives. The hypocrisy and scolding of Hollywood celebrities played a big role in getting President Trump elected in the first place, and if it continues, it will do so again in 2020.