It's been a week since Ricky Gervais shocked Hollywood with a series of off-color and racy jokes at the Golden Globe Awards. Gervais' performance sparked debate over whether the British comedian really went over the line, or whether American audiences and celebrities are too sensitive. Gervais defended himself in the days afterward, saying he didn't do anything wrong. Rumors circulated that Gervais wouldn't be invited back next year. Some critics have begun to wonder if the Golden Globes need to go in a different direction, or if we should scale back on their importance. But, elsewhere around the globe, others are defending Gervais routine and urging Americans to get with the program. Here, the best worldwide reactions to the controversy.
Ireland -- It was great fun: "I couldn't have been more impressed by Ricky Gervais's performance at the Golden Globes last week. Gervais opened up on just about every Hollywood star in sight and let the organisers of the Golden Globes have it into the bargain," says a Sunday Independent editorial. Stand-up comedy at its best remains a counter-culture phenomenon." And Gervais did it well. "As Gervais is aware, it's not the certainty of now being excluded from future Golden Globes that is the greatest threat to his credibility. It's the danger of indulging Hollywood with a cuddly, watered-down version of Ricky Gervais, who keeps it in its comfort zone."
Czech Republic -- Give Gervais more opportunities: "But surely actors, whose very job it is to entertain people -- should be able to take a little ribbing, especially at an event where they're celebrating their own great-massive-epic contributions to the world of film? Without some injection of cynicism these award shows (and there's enough of them, and they go on long enough too) would be -- and often are - self-congratulatory borefests," says Will Noble in The Prague Post. If mainstream Hollywood doesn't like Gervais' humor, imagine if "he got a gig doing the Razzies, perhaps his risqué gags would meet with a more appreciative audience..."
England -- Comedy is hard to come by: "Anyone who has ever attempted to write, let alone perform, comedy knows that only neurosurgery requires more skill. So when I was watching Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globe awards this week, my first instinct was to raise my hat to him," says Laurence Marks in The Telegraph. Making people laugh is hard, and movies today are too weighted toward drama. "If comedy doesn't elicit laughter, pretty damned quickly, then the nation's critics are poised with their poisonous pens. Those Hollywood stars lined up in front of Ricky Gervais win awards for making people feel bad. It takes a far rarer talent to make the same people feel good again."
United Arab Emirates -- Gervais rubbed people the wrong way: "It's only natural to take a certain amount of creepy joy in watching a collection of coddled and cosseted zillionaires squirm in their fancy clothes as a shrieking and cackling English comedian takes them all down a peg or two," says Rob Long in The National. "But famous people don't show up to be insulted." Gervais "alienated the key constituencies: money-obsessed producers, self-obsessed stars, and ratings obsessed television networks. There really isn't anybody left, in all of Hollywood, to offend."