Comedian Ricky Gervais has recently slammed celebrities who constantly use their influence to virtue signal, asserting that “the people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything.”
Gervais hosted the award ceremony on five different occasions but it is his participation at the Golden Globes in 2020 that managed to garner the most attention, wherein the comedian unapologetically lambasted woke Hollywood celebrities and tech companies for using the event as a platform to make political statements.
While he’s not hosting the event this year, Gervais did have some pointed comments on the awards ceremony and those who attend them while speaking with The Sun.
“They’re trying to get through this and start again. I don’t think anyone’s even been invited. It’s not even a ceremony,” said Gervais regarding this year’s Golden Globes, assessing that the event “could come back stronger than ever and be loved again or it could be the last one.”
Regarding his past appearances at the Golden Globes as a host, the comedian declared that “2020 was my favourite one. That one captured the imagination.” The comedian went on to explain that he got some criticism after he targeted celebrities the first time he hosted the event, but that particular sentiment has since changed.
“The first time I did it, ten years ago, everyone was like, ‘Ah, how can you talk to these wonderful multi-millionaires, how can you talk to these beautiful people, like that? We love celebrities,’” Gervais pointed out, adding, “By the last one it was like, ‘God, give it to them, we hate celebrities!’”
The comedian then proceeded to explain why he believes people have turned on woke celebrities in recent years, suggesting that it all comes down to the latter’s hypocritical, incessant virtue signalling.
“I know what it is,” Gervais continued. “With all of the austerity and people struggling, they think, ‘Why are these people lecturing me? They’re going to an awards ceremony in a limo and are telling me to recycle?’”
Further expanding on his theory, Gervais added, “People just got sick of it, just got sick of virtue signalling. And they were like a beacon to aim their wrath at. The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything.”
Ricky Gervais also addressed his ‘controversial’ opening monologue at the Golden Globes in 2020, claiming that he “always try and, you know, punch up,” in regards to the jokes he uses in his comedy routines.
“You have to make a decision as a comedian,” Gervais asserted, further declaring, “Do you pander to the 200 most privileged people in the world in the room or the 200 million watching at home?”
He elaborated, “In comedy, traditionally, we are jesters. We have low status. So I’m down in the mud with the other peasants, having a go. I’ve got to be on their side. That’s why I go out there with a beer and look like a slob, because I’ve got to show people that I’m on their side.”
“And that’s what is hard nowadays, to be a stand-up comedian and keep your lower status, because everyone knows how much you’ve earned,” Gervais stated, going on to explain how he cleverly caters to the audience in a manner that is relatable.
The comedian added, “So I do it in two ways. I act like a slob. I go out in bad jeans and a bad T-shirt and drink beer out of a can. I remind them I’m one of them, I shouldn’t be here, I’m lucky.”
“Then I do it another way. I talk about things where they’re better off than me. I’m fat, old and bald. I’m going to die before them. I’ve got a bad back. I talk about all those things that are wrong with me,” the comedian disclosed.
Gervais then concluded, “People are sick of virtue signalling. They think: Why are you lecturing me? You’re going to an awards ceremony in a limo? And you’re telling me to recycle?”
In 2017, during a conference at Oxford Union, Ricky Gervais also touched on the topic of comedy being negatively affected by those who are easily offended, stating that it all boils down to freedom of speech and a comedian’s ability to exert their right to make jokes regardless of the topic.
“I always say, ‘Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right,'” the comedian said at the time. “Some people are offended by a quality. So I’m never trying to offend, but in this new tour [Ricky Gervais: Humanity] it is about freedom of speech and offence culture.”
He went on, “I’ve never considered myself…I don’t know, I think I got that reputation from the Golden Globes, maybe, where I gently ripped some of them richest, most privileged, beautiful people in the world.”
“I can justify every joke,” Gervais stated,. “And I think some people get offended when they mistake the subject of the joke with the actual target; particularly when you’re dealing with taboo subjects.”
The renowned comedian then explained, “And I do deal with taboo subjects for a reason, because I want to take the audience to that place they hadn’t been before.”
“I want that people know that a joke about a bad thing isn’t the same thing as the bad thing. It’s not even necessarily condoning the bad thing; it can be anti the bad thing,” Gervais asserted.
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