Ricky Gervais Explains Going MIA During Golden Globes
His absence spawned many conspiracy theories -- he was drunk, he'd been fired, he was being yelled at by Scientologists -- but his writing partner Stephen Merchant said Sunday night it had been planned all along. And in a statement Monday, Gervais confirmed what Merchant said.
"I did every single introduction I was meant to. There just happened to be a long gap. This is because I was allowed to choose who I would introduce in advance. I obviously chose presenters who I had the best jokes for. (And who I knew had a good sense of humour.) Everyone took it well and the atmosphere backstage and at the after show was great."
However, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, organizer of the Globes, doesn't seem to have such a rosy memory of Sunday night. According to Popeater, one HFPA source said that "Ricky will not be invited back to host the show next year, for sure. ... Any movie he makes he can forget about getting nominated. He humiliated the organization ... and went too far with several celebrities whose representatives have already called to complain."
Later, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to HFPA President, Philip Berk, who said that "He definitely crossed the line. And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that's Ricky." Berk also said he didn't know in advance what Gervais would come out with: "Anything I heard was heard was the same time you heard it ... When you hire Ricky Gervais, you expect the unexpected."
However, despite all the controversy, the Globes telecast won its timeslot in viewers and the key adult demographics. In a statement released to Entertainment Weekly, the HPFA said: "We loved the show. It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking. When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in your face, sometimes outrageous, material. Certainly, in this case, he ... occasionally went too far. The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we've ever had and we were pleased."
So, perhaps it wasn't all bad then. Will Gervais be back hosting next year? It seems unlikely right now. He told The Hollywood Reporter that although last year he'd been asked back immediately, this year so far, nada. "That's ominous, isn't it? ... So I probably won't be here next year."