If there’s one lesson we on the freedom side of the argument can learn from Ricky Gervais’s superb, heroic, life-affirming performance roasting the Wankerati at the Golden Globes, it’s never, ever, ever apologise; always double down.
It’s, of course, possible that by so spectacularly dissing the hypocrisy of Hollywood culture, Gervais will have killed his U.S. career. But I think it’s much more likely that it will propel him to the unassailable league of Dave Chapelle – another of those rare celebrity voices who stared into the abyss of woke and – unlike Kevin Hart – refused to blink, and emerged stronger and more popular than ever before.
Chapelle, I thought, had set the bar pretty high for sheer daring and tastelessness with his quips on his brilliant recent Netflix show Sticks & Stones – like the one about Macaulay Culkin and Michael Jackson.
Last night’s Golden Globes were Gervais’s hold-my-beer response.
No cow was considered too sacred for the slaughter
Not liberal America’s favourite smug English lard-butt:
The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats, but no one saw that.
Not venerable M from the recent James Bond movies:
But Dame Judi Dench defended the film, saying it was the role she was born to play because she – I can’t do this next joke. Because she loves nothing better than plonking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and licking her arse hole. She’s old school. It’s the last time, who cares.
Not Hollywood’s most beloved mobster psychopath:
So lots of big celebrities here tonight. I mean legends, icons. Look at this table alone. Al Pacino. Robert De Niro. Baby Yoda. Oh no, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry. I love you man, don’t have me whacked.
Not movies about the Holocaust:
I’ve heard a rumour that there might be a sequel to Sophie’s Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl Streep going, ‘Well it’s got to be this one then.’
But these were just warm ups for the main event: probably the most excoriating attack on Hollywood’s hypocrisy, corruption and glib political correctness in its entire ignoble history.
We got #MeToo
But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background. But they all have one thing in common. They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for you. Look, talking of all you perverts. It was a big year for paedophile movies: Surviving R Kelly, Leaving Neverland… The Two Popes.
We got Jeffrey Epstein
So in the end, he obviously didn’t kill himself – just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care. You had to make your own way here on your own plane didn’t you?
Then, for the grande finale, we got totally unreconstructed, utterly fearless, unimpeachably accurate truth to power:
Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama. A superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. So, well, you say you’re woke, but the companies you work for. I mean, 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, please 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 fuck off.
A particular stroke of genius, that, I thought – shoehorning in Hollywood’s current patron saint, St Greta, for the sole purpose of dismissing her antics in a supremely dismissive putdown about school truancy.
Better still, though, was the attack on the woke nexus that extends from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. Gervais is right. These are not good people. They are the totalitarians of their age – as oppressive, in their way, as the Marxist and Fascist and Nazi threats which preceded them, only much more insidious because their evil is disguised with a smiley, caring, socially conscious face.
It needed saying and finally someone dared say it.
Interviewed recently in the Spectator, Gervais explained why he will never apologise for his jokes, however tasteless:
‘Everyone’s thing is the worst thing in the world,’ he tells me. ‘We all do it. We go to a show and say “I wish he hadn’t joked about that. That’s the thing I care about”.’ He recalls playing in New York for the first time and receiving a letter from a Jewish society upset about his Anne Frank material. ‘I said to them, “You laughed at the jokes about famine, Aids and cancer. You knew I was joking there, didn’t you?” I’m playing the idiot. That’s what irony is. It’s the opposite of what you actually think. You wouldn’t satirise an idea that you fundamentally agreed with and get excited about it as an artist.’
In the past, the fear of being misconstrued has led him to delete jokes on Twitter. These days he takes a different view. ‘What’s the point? Why should I expect everyone in the world to get my joke? That’s arrogant. I don’t want to go so low and obvious and anodyne that everyone gets it. Now I challenge people to tell me a joke that’s not offensive and I can find something offensive in it. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Fuck you, my chicken died yesterday.’
Gervais is right, of course. The offence-taking industry has got grotesquely out of hand – and no institutions have been more responsible for promoting this cry-bully culture of entitled victimhood than the ones that Gervais lambasted at the Golden Globes.
It’s a great start to the 2020s – a decade which, I believe, will see a growing backlash to woke culture, as we normal people realise that it’s us, not the snowflakes of academe and the mainstream media and the entertainment industry, who are the majority and that for the last two decades we’ve had our culture stolen away from us by a small, shrill minority of brainwashed fruitcakes.
Gervais’s Golden Globes performance may yet come to be recognised as one of those pivotal events where we all finally realised that the Emperor of Woke is in fact wearing no clothes.
The man deserves a knighthood, at the very least, for services to Western Civilisation.