January 17, 2011
Gervais opened the live telecast by poking exuberant fun at the likes of Tim Allen, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. He claimed to have had to help Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, off the toilet and “put his teeth back in”. He introduced Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad” and explained that Johnny Depp’s critically panned caper movie The Tourist had only been nominated because the voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association “accepted bribes”. Neither Willis nor Depp appeared especially amused.
Following the ceremony, Tim Allen, Tom Hanks and Robert Downey Jr all appeared to be at least mildly uncomfortable with Gervais’s performance.
Gosh, I can’t imagine what that’s like, going to see a show (or movie, or band play) and have the performer launch a full-on, unfunny attack on you (or your beliefs). Jim Nolte reminds Hollywood how often they’ve done the same to others:
How many times have those of us in Middle America gotten all settled in for an expected evening of relaxing entertainment, be it at the movies, in front of the television, or in bed with a good book, only to get sucker punched by some cheap, out-of-nowhere sucker punch aimed at our identity, faith or country?
Well, how does it feel, Hollywood? How does it feel to be “blindsided” and trapped for a few hours not knowing when it might come again?
Kind of sucks all the fun out of the evening, doesn’t it?
It’s not just middle America, of course, the whole of the Bush administration meant I couldn’t go out in NYC without hearing some dumb performer inform me of their views (and as I wrote a lot at the time, I don’t mind political disagreement as long as I can argue back and am not stuck in the audience receiving a lecture from some doofus with a guitar). Hard to feel sorry for Hollywood for enduring some abuse today.