Gervais: Just doing his job?

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — As host of the Golden Globe Awards, Ricky Gervais took sharp, arguably cruel jabs at targets including Charlie Sheen, Cher, the nominated film “The Tourist” and even the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Just doing his job, Gervais insists.
“If they didn’t want me, they shouldn’t have hired me,” he said on Piers Morgan’s CNN talk show airing Thursday.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Gervais said. “Those were like gibes at these people, and I’m sure they’ve got a sense of humor.”
Morgan asked if any topic is ever off-limits for a wisecrack at a celebrity’s expense.
“Do you care about what they may be going through in their private lives?” he inquired, perhaps referring to Robert Downey Jr., whom Gervais introduced at Sunday’s awards show by saying, “Many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail.”
“I don’t have an addiction,” replied Gervais, adding, “I’m not judging them for what they did.”
“You’re mocking them, aren’t you?” Morgan pressed.
“No, I’m not,” Gervais said. “I’m confronting the elephant in the room. … Like I’m going to go out there and NOT talk about the issues in their industry. Don’t forget, I’ve got to be an outsider there. I mustn’t come out there as everyone’s mate and schmooze — that’s nauseating. I’ve got to come out there, and I’ve got to roast them.”
There has been no official word on whether Gervais, who was making his second appearance as Golden Globes host, will be back next year.
Gervais will make a cameo appearance on “The Office” next week, reprising the role he played in the original British version that he helped create.
NBC said Wednesday that Gervais’ brief appearance on Jan. 27 will be as David Brent. That’s the smart-alecky paper salesman who inspired the character of Michael Scott, portrayed by Steve Carell on NBC’s successful adaptation of the comedy.
Gervais serves as an executive producer of NBC’s “The Office,” which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
“Piers Morgan Tonight” airs weeknights on CNN at 9 p.m. EST.