A day after Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes attack on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association became the talk of the town, the group admitted they're more than a little ticked — but they "loved" the show anyway!
"We loved the show," the group said in a statement to TheWrap. "It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking. When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in-your-face, sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occassionally went too far. The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we've ever had and we were pleased."
Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions, meanwhile, released its own statement Monday, denying that Gervais' end-of-show remarks were cut short by angry HFPA officials and awards-show producers.
"Ricky's time onstage was not altered one iota," it read.
The statements come as one after-partygoer, an NBC executive, described HFPA president Phil Berk as shouting backstage after Gervais quipped to a national audience that he had "to help (Berk) off the toilet and pop his teeth in."
"He definitely crossed the line," Berk told the Hollywood Reporter of Gervais' jokes.
Among buzzing TV pundits Monday, Berk's viewpoint seems to have support, with the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes leading her post-show report with the following:
"The 68th Annual Golden Globes Awards (sic) will go down in history for having brought Hollywood together in its hatred of host Ricky Gervais, but we're here to bring you the TV news that emanated from the frosty ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel where Gervais' career died."
Gervais, meanwhile, had supporters too, with IndieWire's Caryn James noting, "The jokes might have been more daring than funny, but the risk felt exhilarating because Gervais wasn't being outrageous for its own sake. He was targeting the hypocrisy of Hollywood and the insanity and self-importance of awards themselves."
For his part, CNN talk show host Piers Morgan seems eager to find out what kind of dialogue transpired between Gervais and the HFPA officials Sunday night, tweeting Sunday evening, "1st question when Gervais appears on @pierstonight on Thurs — what the hell did they do to you backstage for an hour? He looks haunted."
Certainly, the mood seemed tense.
When Berk reached the stage himself shortly after Gervais' dentures quip, he reacted testily, warning Gervais not to look to him the next time he wants one of his movies qualified for Globes consideration.
Shortly thereafter, Robert Downey Jr., whose past drug abuse had just been referenced by Gervais, remarked on the "hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones" of the show.
And, of course, Gervais later caustically signed off the telecast, thanking god for making him an atheist.
Tune in again next year, Middle America!
Berk normally reviews the entire Globes script, but was apparently not allowed to peruse any of Gervais' pre-written commentary.
"I had absolutely no idea what Ricky was going to say so anything I heard was the same time you heard it," Berk told the Reporter.
Still, the fact that Gervais took such harsh aim at the HFPA — and pretty much everyone else at the Beverly Hilton — perhaps shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise.
After all, in interviews last week, he did more than hint that he might dial up the insult comedy this year.
"I don't think I went far enough," he told Fox News last Wednesday. "Obviously not, because they invited me back. So, I'm going to do it again, do a proper job. And I guarantee they will not invite me back."