We have one request for the 2017 Golden Globes: Please, Hollywood Foreign Press, don't invite Ricky Gervais back next year. The British comedian took back the reigns from Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, turning what for the past three years has been a boozy, fun celebration into a bitter stew of offensiveness. It was clear almost immediately that Gervais was dipping into his same old well of nastiness. To wit: During the 2015 ceremony, we watched Jeffrey Tambor dedicate his award for Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy to the trans community. "Thank you for your courage," he said when accepting. "Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be part of the change." It was a powerful moment. This year, Gervais joked about the fact that Tambor, a cisgender male, wears a dress to play Transparent's Maura Pfefferman. "Every day he has to put on all those women’s clothes and the hair and makeup and let people film it," Gervais said during his opening monologue. "That takes balls. So I don’t know how he does it. I really don’t. I’ve seen his balls. They’re huge and long." There was a lot that didn’t sit right about Gervais' performance, but his insistence on making trans people the butt of his jokes was his biggest offense. He also had material about Caitlyn Jenner, who he initially called "Bruce." In the early moments of his monologue, he declared that he was going to be "nice," saying, "I’ve changed. Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously." Then, he made a joke about how women are bad drivers, callously referencing Jenner's involvement in a fatal car accident.
Later, introducing Eddie Redmayne, Gervais said, "Our next presenter is an actress both beautiful and talented. Born in England, she came to America and has taken Hollywood by storm. The star of the nominated movie, The Danish Girl — it’s a dude." Gervais seemed to find it hilarious that trans people exist at all. Writer Sonia Saraiya tweeted, "The joke is, Ricky Gervais doesn't understand gender." None of this came as a surprise, really. Gervais' hosting stints have always been characterized by a burning desire to cut the celebs inside the Beverly Hilton down to size. But it’s one thing to use a tabloid story about a celebrity as fodder. (Hi, Ben Affleck.) It’s another to thumb your nose childishly — and unfunnily — at the progress Hollywood has made toward understanding the trans community. Perhaps because of the tone Gervais set, the ceremony featured few moments worthy of cheer. His jokes about equal pay for women were snide. Melissa McCarthy, star of the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, made a disapproving face after he said that all-female remakes are "brilliant for the studios because they get guaranteed box office results, and they don’t have to spend too much money on the cast." Earlier in the ceremony, he said that he was being paid the same salary for the gig as Poehler and Fey got combined. "He was trying to call attention to an important issue,” Melissa Maerz wrote in Entertainment Weekly. “But in a year when the Globes honored very few female creatives outside of the acting categories, and even fewer people of color, it was probably difficult for his underpaid peers to laugh." Indeed, this tweet pretty much sums it up:
Women, however, provided the night's best moments. Want to know how to take down Hollywood prejudices and be funny about it? Just ask Eva Longoria and America Ferrera.
A lot conspired to make the 2016 Golden Globes a bust, but Gervais' noxious vibes ultimately sunk the show.