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Whether or not Ricky Gervais will host the Golden Globes in 2012 will apparently be decided by the end of the week. Based on what’s being reported on the subject, it would appear that the Golden Globes aren’t treating the subject of Gervais as host lightly. In fact, it sounds like they’re putting a great deal of thought into weighing the pros and cons, and there appear to be numerous of both.
Deadline posted the update, stating that the Hollywood Foreign Press is “deeply divided" over whether or not comedian/producer/actor Ricky Gervais should be brought back to host the Globes one more time and that the decision has to be made by Thursday or Friday of this week. Right now it's looking like either Gervais will host or there will be no host at all. Here are the issues Deadline presents in their article:
The HFPA membership appears roughly evenly split on inviting Rude Ricky back for his third hosting stint, but both sides are united in their anger at NBC for its seeming lobbying to have the comedian back and pressuring the HFPA to follow suit.
It's no surprise that NBC wants Gervais back. It’s NBC’s objective to get people to watch the Golden Globes, otherwise why broadcast them at all? If ratings were low because the show was boring and/or people were saving their awards interest for the Oscars, it wouldn’t be in NBC’s best interest to air the ceremony to begin with. On the other side of the coin, it wouldn't be unfair of the HFPA to be annoyed that NBC’s putting pressure on them. It’s their party and this is kind of a big deal to them, to say the least. That brings us to the quote Deadline mentions from their unnamed source:
“NBC has put the HFPA in a lose-lose situation. If the Hollywood Foreign Press says ‘Yes’ to Ricky, it risks turning the Globes into ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’ and leaving the impression that they’re annually throwing a great party while inviting someone who humiliates all of the guests. If it says ‘No,’ the HFPA looks like it has no sense of humor about itself...”
“Humiliates all of the guests” seems like a big exaggeration. In fact, if it were true that Gervais humiliated everyone, I doubt his returning would even be an issue. Ribbing and roasting may be more fitting, and in some cases, yeah, he might have gone overboard. Case in point...
Sure, the first half of the bit about the funny movie titles was great, but Gervais poking fun at Robert Downey Jr.’s substance abuse and criminal history may have been a step too far considering Downey was about to take the stage. Others may disagree and say that personal issues and a celebrity’s often all-too-public private life is fair game to be poked fun at. Whether that's the case is as debatable as whether an awards ceremony is the time and place for it. And the level of sense of humor each celebrity has over their own issues likely varies. Of course, Gervais isn’t looking for their laughs. He’s looking for ours. That’s what he does, which brings us to the last part of Deadline’s source’s quote...
“...The problem is, if you have Ricky, the show tends to wind up being all about him and how mean he can be. He effectively dwarfs the importance of the ceremony itself.”
Here’s where the viewer opinion is likely going to differ from the HFPA opinion. The “importance of the ceremony” for us is to be entertained, to see our favorite TV and movie stars, and to see the shows, movies and actors we love get awarded for jobs well done. The Golden Globes is a long ceremony with a lot of categories. A funny and entertaining ceremony is as important as the awards themselves from the viewers’ perspective. But from the HFPA, the integrity of the ceremony does count for something and that’s fair. It’s their show and it’s a big deal for them. Whether or not “mean” is a fair word to use to describe Ricky Gervais’ style of humor is certainly debatable.
Deadline’s source goes on to talk about NBC’s interest in ratings and revenue, and how others think that while going in a different direction (away from Gervais) may lose viewership, it could ultimately protect the brand. They go on to say...
"Some think the job of a host should be enhancing everyone’s experience and making sure they all have a good time. But that isn’t where Ricky’s head is at. He tends to make it all about his career and all about him."
On the surface, the above statement seems unfair, but looking beyond the source’s choice to speak about Gervais’ intentions, adding the above statement to what was said about Gervais “dwarfing the importance of the ceremony,” it seems their biggest concern is that he’s stealing the show. That actually makes sense, but if that’s the case, is that really a bad thing? In the long run, would Gervais stealing the show lessen the value of the awards themselves? Those who become Golden Globe winners that night will be remembered for the awards they won and (in some cases) what they won them for, not for the crack Gervais made about them at some point during the event.
Then again, this is coming from someone who plans to sit through the entire award ceremony from her living room, which is the same place I sat when I saw some of the nominees do whatever it is they did to receive the honor of being nominated in the first place. It’s not difficult to see the Hollywood Foreign Press’ side on this issue, but as one of the many who hopes to be as entertained during the Golden Globes as I was when many of the nominated films and TV shows were "presented" to me, it’s a bit harder to take it. Given the choice between Ricky Gervais and no host at all, I hope they go with Gervais.