RICKY GERVAIS has insisted his mysterious hour-long absence from Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards was not as a result of his being fired – but rather a simple act of scheduling.
Gervais – hosting the show for the second time, following a widely-lauded appearance in last year – had opened Sunday’s show with a like-it-or-loathe-it five-minute monologue in which he lampooned Hugh Hefner as being “the walking dead”, unnamed “famous Scientologists” as being closet homosexuals, and said everything this year had been 3D – “except the characters in The Tourist”.
The monologue began with Gervais introducing the evening as a “a night of partying and heavy drinking – or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.”
Cameras showed many of Hollywood’s better-known faces as reacting squirmishly – and when Gervais did not appear on screen for a full hour after a number of other wise-cracking slots, many wondered whether Gervais had been fired from the show as a result of his insults.
The BBC adds that on his return, the Londoner appeared more subdued – further adding fuel to thoughts that he had been told to hold back on his remarks.
But in a statement released last night, Gervais said his absence had been pre-scheduled – and simply came because he was allowed to choose the acts he introduced.
“I did every single introduction I was meant to. There just happened to be a long gap. This is because I was allowed to choose who I would vote for in advance,” the writer of The Office and Extras explained.
“I obviously chose presenters who I had the best jokes for, and who I knew had a good sense of humour.”
Examine for yourself whether you think Gervais was told to turn down – this video contains his opening monologue, and each of his follow-up appearances.