Ricky Gervais will return as host of the Golden Globes in January 2012, despite sixteen members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who organise the event, voting against having the British comedian return.
The Hfpa announced the news through Twitter on Wednesday (16 November, 2011) sparking protests from critics of the Office star who were put off by his last stint as host of the Globes, which included digs at Charlie Sheen's drinking habits and the "one dimensional" characters in Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie's movie 'The Tourist'. Some stars reacted furiously to the jibes, including Robert Downey Jr who after finding himself on the receiving end of a rehab-joke, told the audience, "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?". It has since been revealed the vote to reinstate Ricky as host was not unanimous, with the Los Angeles Times discovering that a whopping 25 per cent of members voted against the decision. Long-time member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Judy Solomon said, "My worry was that he was insulting, and when I invite someone to my house, they don't insult me.But this is show business. I guess I'm old-fashioned".
Despite the criticism, the Hfpa were probably swayed by last year's ratings - Gervais drew nearly 17 million viewers to the NBC broadcast, easily beating its network competition in that timeslot. It looks as though comedian is already making his employers sweat though- after the announcement he tweeted, "Just told Billy Crystal he'd better not use any of my holocaust or pedophile material at The Oscars. He agreed (true)".