Ricky Gervais Laughs Off Golden Globes Backlash, Stands By 'Teasing Huge Corporations' and 'Most Privileged People in the World'

Ricky Gervais has laughed off criticism of his Golden Globes monologue as "right wing," standing by his decision to "tease huge corporations" and the "most privileged people in the world."

Gervais, who was hosting the award ceremony for the fifth time on Sunday, targeted celebrities for claiming to be "woke" yet working for companies like Apple, Amazon and Disney. He also told the audience not to bring politics into their speeches as they "know nothing about the real world."

The 58-year-old English comedian's scathing monologue attracted praise from conservatives, including Fox News' Greg Gutfeld who claimed Gervais said everything that was needed to be said about the "self-obsessed pile of pulsating flesh known as Hollywood" and Rudy Giuliani, who said Gervais had a "lot of courage."

But some critics slammed Gervais for using his platform a "right-wing talking point" and for taunting celebrities for "trying to use their influence to change things for the better."

Gervais responded to the criticism on Twitter, writing: "How the f*** can teasing huge corporations, and the richest, most privileged people in the world be considered right wing?"

Vanity Fair's Mark Harris was among those who slammed Gervais. He tweeted: "Here's my Ricky Gervais problem: The idea that celebrities are not only pampered babies but hypocrites who cause the problems they make speeches deploring and should therefore shut up and act/sing/be grateful is a right-wing talking point, and an especially stupid one."

He added: "It's not an act of speaking truth to power or of bravery to attack celebs on that front—it's a tired way of scolding people into silence because you don't like what they're saying, and saying that he's 'calling out' the hyperprivileged is just the same thing in a new guise."

The Los Angeles Times' television critic Lorraine Ali also blasted Gervais for attacking celebrities for "trying to use their influence to change things for the better."

At the Beverly Hilton, where the Golden Globes took place, "the mood was already sober thanks to an impeachment, the threat of war with Iran and devastating bush fires in Australia," she wrote in a review.

"The last thing anyone needed was for the smirking master of ceremonies to reprimand them for having hope, or taunt the room for trying to use their influence to change things for the better."

During his monologue, Gervais targeted Apple saying the company "runs sweatshops in China" as the company's CEO Tim Cook sat in the audience.

"Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing—made by a company that runs sweatshops in China," Gervais said.

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images

Addressing the audience directly, he added: "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, don't use it as a platform to make a political speech, right?

"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 f*** off."