Ricky Gervais opened the 2020 Golden Globe Awards with an interesting monologue that shocked both the nominees and viewers at home.

Gervais suggested that winners who were accepting awards should just say thank you and move on.

“So, if you win tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech,” Gervais said. “You are in no position to lecture the public about anything.”

I agree with Gervais that the celebrities should use their winning moment to give thanks to the people who helped them in their career. Instead, many of them use that time to air out their political opinions. 

Celebrities hardly know anything about the real world, as Gervais said. They are not really the ones affected by policies, so it is not fair when they try to lecture their fans about what they should believe. They don’t live the average American life as most of their fans do. In that sense, celebrities just don’t understand.

If someone looks up to a celebrity and respects their opinion, the fan might change their views to align with the beliefs of the celebrity. Celebrities often forget the power and influence they can have on others.

Although Gervais is a celebrity himself and telling celebrities not to do something seemed hypocritical, he, unlike his peers, understands the effects of his celebrity influence. To me, Gervais seemed to be telling his peers to focus on positivity because it was an award show, not a political debate.

Gervais wasn’t the only one to call out fellow celebrities. Joaquin Phoenix used his thank you speech to speak about the hypocrisy of his peers, saying that more needed to be done.

“It’s nice that so many people have come up and sent their wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that right?” Phoenix said. “We have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and hope we can do that.” 

I believe the problems Phoenix spoke about were real. So many of these celebrities use their influence to bring awareness to issues, like the fires in Australia, but don't help with any real donations. While their motives are good, they often forget they have more resources than any of their fans, and they could help more substantially.

Recently, Kylie Jenner received backlash after posting a “pray for Australia” post on her Instagram, following it up with a photo of her new $100,000 Louis Vuitton shoes made with mink fur. Later, she shared her remorse and People magazine confirmed that she donated $1 million to Australian Bushfire Relief.

The problem was that the donation was made only after she was criticized and pressured into it. She should’ve donated the money from the beginning. Jenner is a billionaire; she had the resources to help.

I think that was what Phoenix was talking about in his speech. The celebrities who have the power to bring awareness to these world’s problems also have resources to help with the problem.

Both Gervais and Phoenix gave speeches that shed light on situations often pushed under the rug. I thought both speeches were necessary and changed the narrative of the award show.

Shelby Bordes is a 21-year-old mass communication junior from Rayne, Louisiana. 

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