Hollywood divided as Gervais returns to Golden Globes

Organisers take a risk after one Tinseltown A-lister threatened to boycott awards if Gervais came back

LAST UPDATED AT 10:29 ON Thu 17 Nov 2011

RICKY GERVAIS has been confirmed as host of the Golden Globes for a third straight year, but the decision has proved controversial because of the funnyman's offensive performance last year.
 
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the awards show, was "deeply divided over whether to bring back Ricky", Deadline Hollywood reports, and members feel aggrieved to have been pressured to use Gervais by the broadcaster NBC. Earlier this month, it was reported that one Hollywood A-list star was threatening to boycotting the event if Gervais was given the job again.
 
The Reading-born comedian spared no feelings while hosting the show in January and offended several big names. His victims included the HFPA president Philip Berk ("I had to help him off the toilet"), Bruce Willis ("Ashton Kutcher’s dad") and "gay scientologists", which was widely taken as a dig at Tom Cruise.
 
Actor Robert Downey Jr. complained that Gervais' performance had made the show "hugely mean-spirited, with sinister undertones", and until recently HFPA representatives were intimating that the Office star would not be invited back.
 
But with time running out to secure a replacement, the HFPA has bitten the bullet and brought back the host the networks want. An unrepentant Gervais has tweeted: "Just told Billy Crystal he'd better not use any of my holocaust or pedophile (sic) material at The Oscars." · 

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