The only truly controversial thing about Sunday's Golden Globe Awards was the appearance of an anti-gay hate group outside the Beverly Hilton as stars sashayed up the red carpet.
Comic Ricky Gervais skewered the famous and the fabulous for the third year running but avoided actually offending: Perhaps that is why ratings for the Golden Globes telecast dipped slightly, the Associated Press reported Monday. The Nielsen Co. says Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony was seen by 16.8 million American TV viewers on NBC, beating all network competition in its time period but dropping slightly from last year's audience. In 2011, 17 million watched the film and TV awards show organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
In Canada, CTV reported that 3.2 million watched the show on that network, also making it the top-rated program. The same number watched last year.
Gervais once again lampooned the nominees, presenters and even the Foreign Press Association itself: Mocking the Golden Globe's somewhat trashy reputation, he said the show was to the Oscars what reality star Kim Kardashian is to Prince William's bride, Kate Middleton.
Backstage commentary included some hard remarks about the anti-gay protests outside the hotel that then reverberated around the Internet Monday.
Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, who had just won best supporting actor for his role as a gay man coming out in his seventies in Beginners, told the assembled press that, "Gay characters are human beings. We are all exactly the same, and the reason I played it the way I did was because you don't go around pretending to mince and to be a caricature of a gay. Gays are part of our society and have been since the Egyptians, the Greeks; it is part of the human condition. I know there's an awful lot of anti-gay feeling right now, particularly at this moment, and I abhor it."
The awards were being picketed by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas group that regularly shows up at public events to denounce homosexuality, and which complained Hollywood encourages various forms of sinfulness.
Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, whose show won for the best comedy or musical TV series, also took the opportunity to denounce the protesters.