I have learned that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is deeply divided over whether to bring back Ricky Gervais to three-peat as host of the Golden Globes. But, with the Globes less than two months away, the organization has to decide one way or the other by Thursday or Friday at the latest. The HFPA membership appears roughly evenly split on inviting Rude Ricky back for a third hosting stint, but both sides are united in their anger at NBC for its seeming lobbying to have the comedian back and pressuring the HFPA to follow suit. Says a source close to the discussion: “NBC has put the HFPA in a lose-lose situation. If the Hollywood Foreign Press says yes to Ricky, it risks turning the Globes into The Ricky Gervais Show and leaving the impression that they’re annually throwing a great party while inviting someone who humiliates all of the guests. If it says no, the HFPA looks like it has no sense of humor about itself. The problem is, if you have Ricky, the show tends to wind up being all about him and how mean he can be. He effectively dwarfs the importance of the ceremony itself.”
The other argument being waged by membership is that there has been more and more consistent chatter about the Globes in the two years Gervais has hosted than perhaps ever before, helping to swell interest and potentially ratings. “There are those who feel that ratings and revenue are what the HFPA need to focus on most,” the source said. “Of course that’s all NBC is interested in. The other faction believes that without Ricky, you may lose a little in viewership but wind up better protecting the brand. Some think the job of a host should be enhancing everyone’s experience and making sure they all have a good time. But that isn’t where Ricky’s head is at. He tends to make it all about his career and all about him. The question the association has to answer now is, is the boost in interest ultimately worth the price? Nobody really knows which way it’s going to go yet. But what NBC needs and what’s in the best interests of the HFPA may be two very different things.”
Right now, it appears that the choices the HFPA is exploring are either Gervais as host or no host at all (as the Globes did for 13 years). However, NBC has made it clear it wants a host and was instrumental in bringing Gervais as the Globes’ first emcee in many years. The source added that at the moment, the pro-Gervais camp appears to have a slight advantage, and should Gervais ultimately be invited back, the HFPA could well reserve the right to vet his monologue and script. “Not that he’d necessarily pay any attention to that,” the source said. ” could promise to be a good boy and then turn around and do whatever the hell he felt like doing.”
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