Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais’ one-hour absence from the stage last night spawned all sorts of conspiracy theories ranging from him being reprimanded by higher-ups at the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for some of his meaner jabs to him being outright fired. In a statement, Gervais explains what kept him backstage for so long – the pattern of presenters he had chosen beforehand to introduce. And despite the groans from celebrities and HRTS that he may have gone too far with some of his cringe-inducing zingers, Gervais believes that “everyone took it well.” Here is is full statement:

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 introduce in advance. I obviously chose presenters who I had the best jokes for. (And who I knew had a good sense of humour.) Everyone took it well and the atmosphere backstage and at the after show was great.”