Ricky Gervais to host Golden Globes despite last year’s jibes at Hollywood’s biggest stars
RICKY Gervais is returning as the host of the Golden Globes despite putting some of Hollywood's most important noses out of joint last year.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced through Twitter on Wednesday that Gervais will take his third turn as Globes host in January.
His to close-to-the-knuckle jokes last year - including digs at Charlie Sheen's drinking habits and a swipe at Angeline Jolie and Jonny Depp for their part in The Tourist - left many doubting he would be invited back.
The organization acknowledged on its website that "not everyone is happy with the decision" to bring Gervais back because "his blunt one-liners targeting big-name celebrities caused anger and resentment in some quarters."
At the ceremony earlier this year, Gervais joked that the HFPA accepts bribes (just after the group was sued for allegations that it engaged in payola schemes) and swiped at stars such as Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and Robert Downey Jr.
"Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" Downey said when he took the stage to present an award.
The HFPA said after the show that Gervais "pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far."
Still, Gervais' jabs paid off in ratings, drawing nearly 17 million viewers to the NBC broadcast and beating out its network competition in that time slot.
The 50-year-old comedian initially said after the show that he would not return as its host. Earlier this year, Philip Berk, then president of the HFPA, denied that Gervais had been invited to come back.
But the organization said Gervais "gradually warmed to the idea" and recently discussed his return with the HFPA's new president, Dr. Aida Takla-O'Reilly.
The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held January 15 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.