Gervais’ Golden Globes Speech Calls Out Hypocrisy of Hollywood


Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes and addressed the nation about important topics. He mentioned the lack of diversity in those who were nominated for awards and told Hollywood they need to fix the problem.

Sandhya Ganesan, Opinion Editor

“You know nothing of the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg” said Ricky Gervais in his opening speech during the Golden Globes. While used for comedic effect, Gervais did bring an interesting fact to light. Celebrities trying to advocate for other causes, while a great use of a platform, lacks credibility. Admirers of celebrities want a view of their glamorous life, not their privileged perspective on an issue. 

Hollywood has slowly transformed into a walking oxymoron. It’s actors have begun to use their award ceremonies as platforms of advocacy for Australia, voter participation, and women’s rights. However, while it’s actors in all their glitz and glamour talk about these issues, they are receiving massive paychecks for movies whose streamers are being sued for labor violations. 

Gervais alluded to this issue in his speech. He mentioned The Morning Show, commissioned by Apple, who recently admitted to violating Chinese labor laws in their production of iPhones.

Gervais pointed out the hypocrisy of some of Hollywood’s finest. While it is great to keep up with the news and have an opinion, you have to talk the talk and walk the walk. 

While it is great to keep up with the news and have an opinion, you have to talk the talk and walk the walk. 

Giving women a voice and speaking out against misogyny is great, however, when the advocate was previously involved with predators such as Epstein, their advocacy seems a little contradictory. 

Gervais emphasized the fact that no one will remember the Golden Globes and what a specific person did there. While Hollywood’s new fanaticism with political sentiments is nice, and can be seen as making an effort, they will not be remembered. This is especially true when the person giving them is contradicting their past self. 

Hollywood is fraught with problems, and actors should be working to address that first. The greatest example that can be made is fixing the crude conduct that occurs in the film workplace. Actors can also address the role of influencer culture that is so prominent in society. While it is good for a celebrity to use their fame for a good cause, the average person must remember how they got that influence. 

Issues like mental health and the body shaming culture of the media in general needs to be dealt with by the people who have reaped the rewards of the system. Diet culture and the toxic view of women has been perpetuated in cinema, and with all the feminist, “woke” like talk of actresses, not much change has been made. 

On top of the toxic mentality of hollywood film, there is a lack of diversity in award shows. Actors speak on inclusion, acceptance, and the power of a vote, yet they fail to represent all groups in their nominations. 

Awkwafina was the first Asian American actress to win a Golden Globe, and for the majority of the award ceremony, all of the acceptance were white males or females. This lack of diversity fuels Gervais’s view of award shows and acceptance speeches in that they are essentially a demonstration of white privilege. 

These award shows misrepresent minority groups and fail to shed light on the historically underserved groups perspectives on hollywood itself. Hollywood, being dominantly white, makes the issue of diversity extremely important, especially if it’s actors are starting to make liberal claims in their acceptance speeches.  

At the end of the day, political sentiments from actors should be seen as a part of influencer culture as a whole. They are made from a different viewpoint than the average American, and often contradictory to the speaker’s previous actions. 

In the words of Gervais, actors would be better of if they “come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God.” 

Celebrities should work to heal the toxic culture of Hollywood before trying to fix the world from their shiny stage and one thousand dollar outfit.