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January 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Philip Berk

Ricky Gervais on Tuesday responded to the criticism leveled against him by Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Following Gervais’s performance on Sunday as host of the HFPA’s Golden Globes, in which he managed to insult half of Hollywood, including the HFPA and Berk personally (“I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in”), Berk commented that Gervais “definitely crossed the line … and some of the things [he said] were totally unacceptable.” But Gervais said on Tuesday, “I don’t know what line I crossed. I didn’t draw the line.” Questions immediately arose about whether the HFPA, producers Dick Clark Productions, or NBC were caught unaware by Gervais. Had there not been a rehearsal? Had no one looked at Gervais’s comments before they were loaded onto the teleprompter? At one point, after cracking a joke about “gay Scientologists,” Gervais remarked that he had consulted lawyers about the wording (although he did not indicate whose lawyers they were). And only last week, Gervais, appearing on Conan O’Brien’s show, had said that his planned opening had been censored. “I was going to come out dressed as Adolf Hitler,” he said, showing how he was going to give a ‘sieg heil’ salute to the audience. “I was going to get to the podium, let it die down, then go, ‘too much?’ And then I was going to say, ‘That’s the last time I borrow a suit from Mel Gibson’. But they told me, ‘We can’t do that’ — so I’m not telling them anything more.” And in fact Berk told the Hollywood Reporter: “I had absolutely no idea what Ricky was going to say, so anything I heard was heard the same time you heard it.”