British writer, actor, comedian, and general hack Ricky Gervais has reportedly been asked back once again to host the Golden Globes. This invitation comes despite transphobic jokes he made the last time he hosted, and anti-trans comments he has continued to make in the years following.
Thankfully, Gervais has said this will be his last time hosting. “Once again, they’ve made me an offer I can’t refuse,” he said in a statement. “But this is the very last time I’m doing this, which could make for a fun evening.” God, this already sounds exhausting.
Let’s just call a spade a spade: While Gervais is a Labour supporter and opposed former U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, he is undoubtedly a right-wing comic. He uses racial and bigoted slurs, hates so-called “PC Culture,” mocks marginalized people whenever he can, and doesn’t believe he should change how he interacts with the world. He wants comedy to return to the “good old days” when he could make fun of trans people, Black people, and autistic people and no one would complain.
In the past, Gervais has used this exact stage to espouse his right-wing talking points.
“I’m going to be nice tonight,” he said on the 2016 Golden Globe stage. “I’ve changed — not as much as [Caitlyn Jenner]. ... What a year she’s had!” Jenner’s name is in brackets because instead of just telling a meh joke about transitioning, he went the extra step of misgendering her by using her deadname.
Gervais later defended his joke in his Netflix special Humanity, saying he was only “playing with the notion of stereotypes.” Sure, Jan.
But undercutting his claims of high-minded satire, Gervais made sure to include plenty of misgendering and general transphobia during the exact same standup special.“It won a medal,” he said. “It was on tele all the time. A big famous man. With a huge… I don’t know. I would never deadname her, but when she was a man… I’d never deadname her now, but this is like a flashback.”
He followed that with a joke about how he’s “always identified as a chimp,” his name is “Bobo,” and he’s going to “have species realignment.” Again: These are the exact same kinds of jokes and comments that members of the Republican party and alt-right groups make to deny the humanity and basic rights of transgender people.
This year Gervais continued to make the same tired jabs on Twitter, including one from over the summer where he posted a picture of himself in a bathtub with the caption: “My preferred pronoun is ‘it.’” It was barely even a joke.
At one time, Gervais was the widely revered creator of The Office and Extras, but these days he’s just an old man yelling at clouds, one who is years past being relevant or clever. After former hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler spent three years raising the bar for all awards shows, it’s unfortunate the Golden Globes are giving him a stage from which to spread his ignorance and hate. The 2019 ceremony won’t just be reactionary and gross — it will also be just plain boring.