Golden Globe Award speeches call out toxic Hollywood culture

By Olivia Montes

Elm Staff Writer

Apart from the red carpet looks, surprising wins, and record-breaking highs, there was, in fact, one individual that truly stood out during the 77th Annual Golden Globe award ceremony.

With what appeared to be no constraint whatsoever, comedian and host Ricky Gervais let loose with grievances, inserting otherwise uncomfortable controversies from the latter half of the 2010s — including name-dropping Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein, two of the many men defamed during the #MeToo movement — into his bit, establishing just how fed up he was with both a) hosting the event numerous times; and b) the film and television industries themselves, specifically the hypocrisies lying beneath the surface.

And yet, despite the obvious amounts of frustrated groans throughout the night, Gervais did demonstrate the courage to call out all the terrible injustices within and beyond the film industry — as should all fellow performers in any public forum.

According to The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber’s “Ricky Gervais Almost Got It Right on Hollywood Hypocrisy” on Jan. 6. Gervais managed to transform his entire hosting duties “into something more incoherent and regressive”, rather than mask yet another season of the industry’s supposed glitz and glamour to viewers.

“The passage is so close to saying the necessary thing about those pieties: [they are] often directed at broad causes rather than specific situations stars might actually have the power to change,” he said.

Granted, Gervais might not appear to be the right person to represent this coalition; he continues to look like the same disgruntled British television personality who has hosted time after time again for this event, clearly tired of the impossible expectations for a new, ostentatious spectacular every year.

His calling out of the issues that had crippled and questioned the industry’s integrity was meant to provoke a reaction from his audience members. Gervais jabbed at them with this sword of hypocrisy, waiting to see if his criticisms would actually cause his fellow celebrities to react and reflect on their past, present, and future actions in the field of entertainment.

“You say you’re woke but the companies you work for — Apple, Amazon, Disney…unbelievable.” Gervais said, as reported by The Daily Beast’s Matt Wilstein. “If ISIS started a streaming service, you would call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

“So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech,” Gervais said. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.”

And to everyone’s surprise, it did spark a similar rebellion within the crowd: Joaquin Phoenix announced his resolution to eliminate his own carbon footprint. Patricia Arquette encouraged her fellow nominees to vote for a competent representative in the upcoming 2020 election.

So, at the end of the night, while it seemed Gervais tried to dissuade his audience from speaking out for a list of various causes, he actually provoked a much-needed reaction from his peers — to say what needed to be said, honest and out in the open.

“Gervais is arguing for a less topical show not on the grounds that it would be more entertaining or more in line with what the average viewer wants to see, but that it would be less hypocritical,” Kornhaber said.

With this stand, Gervais and company demonstrated that enough is enough; with his dictation of those in the audience and watching at home, he set a new standard for other notable performers in the business to not only acknowledge the hypocrisy within the companies they work for.

But he actually wants them to take his sour words to heart — and do something about it.

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