Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Ridiculous Ricky Ruckus

The Hollywood rumor mill went crazy Sunday night about Ricky Gervais' performance as host of the Golden Globes.

He did exactly what he was supposed to do -- be himself and take jabs at the celebrities in attendance at an awards show that means nothing. He was funny, clever, and better than last year.

Yet some industry reporters speculated that Gervais had gone "too far." When he wasn't on screen for a long stretch in the middle of the show, they assumed that the producers had decided he was too over the top and had to be pulled off the air. When he returned, they surmised that he must have been given a talking-to and was only allowed back at the podium if he stopped making fun of everyone (which he didn't).

The Twitterverse was full of such nonsense, despite confirmation from anyone associated with the show. That turned into a story for the rest of the media to run with on Monday, when much of Official News World was quiet for the King holiday. Although it impacted no one and was based on no evidence, the Gervais story got play on all three 24-hour news channels. Brian Williams did a segment about it on the NBC Nightly News. Newspapers and websites by the dozens ran with it.

In doing so, they proved themselves less valid as journalists than the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, because none of them knew what they were talking about.

Bottom line: the producers knew what they would get from Gervais, since he'd done the same thing last year at the Globes. They weren't upset with him, they didn't think he'd gone too far, they didn't fire him. Oh, and the ratings for the telecast were up 5% -- despite Helena Bonham Carter's hair.

If only someone, anyone, had asked Gervais what happened. Or, easier, read his blog:

Obviously the rumour that the organizers stopped me going out on stage for an hour is rubbish. I did every link I was scheduled to do. The reason why the gaps were uneven is because when I got the rundown I was allowed to choose who I presented to. I obviously chose the spots that I had the best gags for. They couldn't move around the order but I could move around however I wanted.

All the same conspiracy theories as last year too... "So and so was offended"... "hasn't been invited back yet"... exactly the same as last time. "Paul McCartney was furious"... no he wasn't. And nor was Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. I was drinking with them after.

Why do people have to embellish? They're allowed to say they hated it. They're allowed to say they didn't find it funny, that it was tasteless, over the top, or whatever. But why do they speculate and make stuff up?

Don't worry, I know the answer. Because it's more interesting than "it went fine and some people won some awards and then went to a party". But that's all that happened.

Actually, I see what they mean. Boring. So here's what really happened. Bruce Willis and Sly Stallone started a fight with me but Alec Baldwin and Mark Walberg stepped in and helped me out. That's what happened.