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Bows, breasts and barbs: Why Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes was the award show trainwreck we loved

Ricky Gervais at the 77th annual Golden Globes
NBC handout of host Ricky Gervais, who ruffled the crowd. Pic credit: NBC/Paul Drinkwater

There’s a lot of reporters bemoaning the hosting duties of Ricky Gervais, but truth be told, we laughed out loud more than once at the audacity of Gervais’ truth to power moments.

And Gervais, like the overlooked Dolemite is My Name feature film, was true to form as “f***ing up motherf***ers” was his game. He wasn’t a sycophantic bore.  He really couldn’t care less if he is in with the in-crowd and for that, we appreciated the raw honesty.

Let’s review the best and most eye-raising moments, shall we?

The Opening Monologue

After Life star (Netflix) Gervais laid it out unflinchingly saying: “Well done Netflix, you win everything, goodnight.”

“All the best actors have jumped to HBO and Netflix,” as he excoriated big-name actors for doing comic book movies, commiserating with Martin Scorsese’s withering damnation of modern filmmaking.

Gervais called out the HFPA and NBC in his sarcastic way and “had a laugh at your expense, remember, we are all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel for that!”

His “in Memoriam” quip on its lack of racial diversity and joke about Felicity Huffman elicited the most groan-age. But his takeout of the big corporations like Apple rang a little too close to home for the assembled executives.

“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,” Gervais quipped.

The Golden Globes host continued, “So, well, 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, wouldn’t ya?”

“So 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.  So if you win, right, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and… f**l off.”

The lack of women directors

Gervais noted the glaring lack of female noms in categories of best director and screenplay. And with one of his patented withering remarks aimed at the aging group of the Hollywood Foreign Press, who neglected to feature one woman, he said before introducing the presenters:

“A lot of controversy over our next category: No female directors were nominated this year. That’s bad. I’ve had a word with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and they have guaranteed this will never happen again. Working with all the major studios, [the HFPA] agreed to go back to the way things were when they didn’t hire women directors. That will solve the problem. You’re welcome.”

The camera panned to many female stars in the audience who were smiling at the obvious jab at the often criticized voting body of the HFPA.

Stellan Skarsgard’s impromptu comedy monologue

It was so deserving that Stellan Skarsgard won. Brilliant, who knew eyebrows were so important? Apparently Miloš Forman, the great late Czech-American director.

The Bad Dress Parade

Not everyone can pull off the insane puffy sleeve trend like Beyoncé, who wore a golden Schiaparelli couture gown with – to put it mildly – voluminous sleeves. In fact, no one really, so don’t do it.

But that fashion audacity didn’t stop Jennifer Lopez from showing up in Christmas wrapping, bows and tree skirt:

Paltrow’s peignoir circa 1967:

Blanchett’s fan arms:

Forgetting one’s shirt:

And last but not least, powerful world politics and female empowerment messaging from Patty Arquette, who delivered an eyepopping fashion statement as a bonus:

Salma Hayek said, hold my beer:

Winners of the red carpet were Helen Mirren and Billy Porter who, hands down, understand how to dress and impress:

All in all, the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards made for a very memorable night.


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