January 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – British comedian Ricky Gervais, best known for the UK TV series The Office, has grabbed media headlines and “gone viral” online after telling Hollywood celebrities gathered for the Golden Globe awards on Sunday evening that they were “[i]n no position to lecture the public about anything” in a seven-minute speech that has been described as a skewering of “woke” culture.
Ricky Gervais just gave the best opening speech at the #GoldenGlobes ever.
He absolutely DESTROYED Hollywood. pic.twitter.com/byRej81Xo0
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 6, 2020
Such award ceremonies have become infamous in recent years for celebrities using the events to promote their views on issues such as abortion, climate change, and immigration.
Gervais, who began his speech by saying that his comments were “just jokes”, appeared to be serious as he urged the celebrities not to make any political speeches when collecting awards. At one point, he tore stripes off of Apple for claiming to be “woke” while being a “company who runs sweatshops in China.”
You say you're “woke”, but the companies you work for are unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney – If ISIS started a streaming service you'd call your agent wouldn't you?
So if you do win an award tonight don't use it as a platform to make a political speech. You're in no position to lecture the public about anything.
You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.
So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and then f**k off.
Throughout his opening speech, Gervais made a host of controversial and a number of extremely vulgar jokes that drew mixed responses from the celebrity audience.
At one point in his speech, Gervais referred to the audience generally as “all you perverts” and said that the one thing that all TV and film executives had in common was being “terrified of Ronan Farrow”, the journalist known for helping to uncover sexual abuse allegations against former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Later in the show, Gervais appeared to make a broad attack on former colleagues of Weinstein when introducing a clip for the film Birdbox, describing it as “a movie where people survive by acting like they don't see a thing. Sort of like working for Harvey Weinstein”.
In another provocative moment, when talking about a character in a popular Netflix show, Gervais said “he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein”. As the audience responded with a mixture of laughs, gasps and boos, Gervais continued “Shut up. I know he's your friend, but I don't care”.
Prior to the event, Gervais told the Spectator magazine of his intention to challenge the audience, saying “It's a room full of the biggest virtue-signalers and hypocrites in the world, so I've got to go after that”.
Commenting on what he described as the “almost universal acclaim” that Gervais’ speech received on Twitter, Piers Morgan wrote in the Mail Online “[t]he reason his verbal assault resonated so powerfully is because it came just when many people, including me, feared the world had gone completely nuts – shamed, dragged and cancelled into supine submission by a staggeringly intolerant radical liberal mob intent on sucking every ounce of freedom and joy out of life”.