Ricky Gervais' scathing Golden Globes speech receives mixed response

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais was met with a combination of laughs and scowls as he delivered his scathing opening monologue at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

The British comedian returned to host the ceremony at The Beverly Hilton for the fifth time and joked about Hollywood's lack of diversity, disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, and the suicide of financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as he took the stage.

"Let's have a laugh at your expense," Gervais said at the start of his opening monologue, in which he vowed that the ceremony would be his last time hosting. "Remember we're all gonna die soon. And there's no sequel."

Gervais was met with laughs as he broached topics such as the U.S. college admissions scandal, quipping he "came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman" - referring to the Desperate Housewives actress, who received a 14-day prison sentence last year for cheating the education system.

The comedian also said Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in Quentin Tarantino's two-hour-and-40-minute-long film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, "attended the premiere and by the end his date was too old for him," as he took aim at the star's 23-year age gap with girlfriend Camila Morrone.

However, the star was less well received when he touched on high-profile movements such as #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite.

He said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Golden Globes, had planned to have a segment honouring celebrities who died in 2019, "but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn't diverse enough."

The Office star also called Hollywood actors hypocrites for giving impassioned political speeches at awards shows while working in movies or television series produced by major tech and media corporations.

"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?" he asked. "So if you do win an award tonight, don't use it as a platform to make a political speech. You are 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."

Despite joking about the teenage climate change activist, the star did end the show with an impassioned plea for donations in aid of the bushfire relief efforts in Australia.

"Please donate to Australia. Get drunk, take your drugs. F**k off," he said.


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