The British actor and comedian has hosted the annual ceremony five times between 2010 and 2020, and used each opportunity to target high-profile Hollywood figures with shocking and often controversial jokes.
This year, though, Gervais did not host – that duty went to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who presented from two different locations. One was at the event’s usual spot in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, while the other was in New York’s Rainbow Room.
Pre-empting relief at the fact he would be absent from the 2021 event, Gervais wrote on Twitter on Sunday night (28 February): “Everyone can relax. Have a great night.”
While the majority of stars seemed to respond well to Gervais’ comedy at previous ceremonies, one actor who made no secret of their disdain for his jokes was Tom Hanks.
Read more: The full list of 2021 Golden Globes winners
Hanks first hinted that he was not a fan of Gervais’ comedy at the 2011 ceremony following a joke about the actor and his Toy Story co-star Tim Allen.
“What can I say about our next two presenters?” Gervais asked, adding: “The first is an actor, producer and director whose movies have grossed over $3.5bn at the box office. He’s won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes for his powerful and varied performances, starring in such films as Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan. The other... is Tim Allen.”
After arriving on stage, Hanks – in an unscripted moment – replied: "We remember when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian – neither of which he is now."
Gervais later admitted that he “regrets” the joke, as he doesn’t think the pair understood that he would have cracked it regardless of who Hanks was stood beside.
“I could say a lot worse things about them, but I don’t want it to get really nasty and for no reason," he told Christian O’Connell on a recent podcast.
Find a full list of the 2021 Golden Globe winners here.
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