Premiering live on Jan. 3, The Golden Globes seemed to roll out the carpet for the new year and decade. This night, usually filled with laughs and heartwarming speeches was a wake-up call to everyone watching.
The award show is known for being more casual in comparison to prestigious others, such as the Oscars. However, this year’s host was irritated about Hollywood’s elitist attitude as of late after shocking discoveries in 2019 and the previous decade. He was especially irritated at the sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and those who covered for them. The spotlights were on, not just on the winners of the past year, but all of the celebrities in attendance and throughout Hollywood.
Ricky Gervais foresaw that some of the award winners would take their moment in the spotlight to lecture the audience about their duty to help Australia after the fires that have ravaged the continent.
Gervais let everyone know that as his “last year hosting,” he did not care at all about who was uncomfortable, because he was tired of the elitism that paved the way for celebrities to get away with anything.
Award shows have allowed celebrities, with astounding amounts of money, to get on their soapboxes and tell the rest of the world that they’re at fault for these problems, not them.
In his seven minute opening monologue, Gervais decided that enough is enough, that the wrongdoings of the rich will not be kept in the dark. Several sources seem to understand Gervais’s message but dislike his methods. TIME magazine, in their article, “The Best, Worst and Most Bizarre Moments of the 2020 Golden Globes,” believed that while there may be truth to the fact that most celebrities are “woke” hypocrites, “it’s not exactly the way to get the crowd in the room, and at home, geared up for a fun season celebrating their favorite stars, films and shows.”
Jon Liebetrau, a working actor and acting professor/director of the performing arts also commented on Gervais’ approach, “The message – I don’t have a problem with. People should change their behavior, but when you apply negative tactics bringing people to your side, it’s not the most effective way to make them do so.
“I applaud people that want positive change. Now, when you have a forum as he did, it’s important for the entertainment business because we are a political, social, and justice industry. It’s a human endeavor that theatre, film, and TV people are a part of,” he added.
Although he understandably disagrees with Gervais’s bluntness, Liebetrau does believe “we have to be careful about hypocrisy. If you’re going to teach people how to change behavior, you better make sure you do it yourself.”
That is exactly why it was something to be remembered as we begin the new year and decade. Sometimes things that need to be heard are uncomfortable. Gervais made sure Hollywood knew that, but consumers of the media and film need to wake up to it, too. It’s easy to cheer on Ricky Gervais and then turn on Apple TV, because it’s not your fault there are sweatshops.
However, these companies that discourage and silence assault survivors, take advantage of their workers, and care little about the planet that supply them of their wealth, are also supported by the common folk as well as the elite. Going into 2020, it’s important to realize that everyone plays a role in the very thing they want to change.