Has Hollywood turned on British actor and comedian Ricky Gervais?
Reactions to his performance as host of the Golden Globes Awards on Sunday appear to suggest as much, both during the ceremony and afterward, in coverage of the event by the press, bloggers and across social media.
There's even speculation that his almost hour-long absence during the live telecast was due to him being reprimanded backstage.
The headlines said it all:
"American newspapers turn on Ricky Gervais;" "Ricky Gervais' snarkfest;" "Twitter goes wild with rumors Ricky Gervais fired midway during globes;" Ricky Gervais digs himself into irreversible hole as 2011 Golden Globes host;" "Golden Globes 2011: Bitchiest Awards Show Ever?"
Reviews of Gervais’ performance ranged from polite criticism to personal attacks.
"Gervais, 49, who was presenting the show for the second year running, caused some controversy with typically biting humour that targeted some of the biggest stars in Hollywood," wrote Andy Bloxham in The Telegraph.
"A visible contingent in the glitzy crowd Sunday night was palpably discomfited by the British comic's full-frontal joke assault, which set a corrosive tone for this year's ceremony that was reflected by both onstage repartee and in backstage opprobrium," wrote Chris Lee and Geoff Boucher of the LA Times.
Snark-blog Gawker dubbed it simply "one of the most unrelentingly harsh and uncomfortable monologues in awards show history."
In the span of four-minutes, Gawker wrote, "Gervais managed to make an enemy of Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Cher, the entire cast and crew of 'Sex and the City 2,' the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Hugh Hefner, and Hugh Hefner's fiancée."
"Ricky Gervais's red-carpet eyewear looked like a leftover from last year's 'Avatar' and about three sizes too big," wrote one commentator in the LA Times.
Meanwhile Chad Bonin of ToonZone, in a blog entry published Monday, targeted Gervais' new venture: "Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington have sat down to have some pointless conversations. Since 2010, HBO has animated them. On the eve of their second season, HBO has released the first season of discussions on DVD. They are much less Ricky Gervais: The Animated Series and much more The Ramblings Of Three Brits."
The most "wince-worthy moment," according to Fox News, "came when Gervais pulled out a gay joke while commenting on the film 'I Love You, Phillip Morris' starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, which was not nominated. 'Two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay – which is the exact opposite of some famous Scientologists,' [Gervais] said to the flabbergasted audience. 'Probably! My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke.'"
Then there were the comments of the stars themselves.
“We can recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian. Neither of which he is now,” Tom Hanks was quoted as saying after one of Gervais’ scathing jibes.
Some reviewers appreciated Gervais' irreverence more than others.
"As always, the Golden Globes bash was the award show nobody takes seriously ... But Gervais spent the show proving he takes it less seriously than anyone. He was a prize bitch all night, insulting the whole crowd, but he was bloody brilliant, and he kept everyone awake for a few hours, which is more than The Tourist could do," wrote Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone.
And at least one blogger went to the extent of listing Gervais's top-10 jokes from the ceremony.