Ricky Gervais says he's sorry for the joke about Tim Allen at Golden Globes 2011

The comedian, who has made some controversial jokes in the past, is set to host the upcoming Golden Globes. He said in a recent interview that the only joke he regrets is about Tim Allen.

                            Ricky Gervais says he's sorry for the joke about Tim Allen at Golden Globes 2011
Ricky Gervais, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen (Getty Images)

Ricky Gervais has made some controversial jokes through the years, but he said in a recent interview that he only regrets one. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his upcoming gig at the Golden Globes as the host, the comedian said that he regrets joking about Tim Allen back in 2011 while introducing him and Tom Hanks to present an award.

Gervais said that Allen "took it wrong." "The joke was him and Tom Hanks. So I came out and said, "Our next two presenters, the first has won five Oscars, the combined box office of five billion dollars. And the other, Tim Allen." Right? It's a fine joke. I'm teasing Tim Allen. But anyone standing next to Tom Hanks, unless it's Dustin Hoffman or Robert Redford or Robert De Niro, that could be me. But it happened to be Tim Allen," he said explaining what had happened.

"The first [presenter] is an actor, producer, writer, and director, whose movies have grossed over $3.5billion at the box office," Gervais had said, "He's won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes for his powerful and varied performances. ... The other is Tim Allen."

At the time, Hanks had retorted saying, "Like many of you, we recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian." "Neither of which is he now," Allen had added.  

Gervais added that he had "nothing against" Allen. "He's a good actor. He's probably a nice bloke. So even though there's no malice and I can justify it comedically and everyone laughed, I didn't want Tim Allen to think, 'Oh, that was written for me. Why me?' Well, because you were standing next to Tom Hanks," he said. 

In the interview, he also addressed the backlash against his jokes about Caitlyn Jenner during his fourth time hosting the Golden Globes, in 2016. He denied that he is transphobic and that his jokes were "misunderstood". 

Jenner had been involved in a car crash in 2015 in California that resulted in the death of a driver. He had joked when he was hosting, "What a year she’s had. She became a role model for trans people everywhere – showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes," then delivering the punchline, "She didn’t do a lot for women drivers."

Explaining himself, he said in The Hollywood Reporter interview, "I was very careful that the joke was about her being a bad driver. The joke was about stereotypes. I started off being correctly inclusive saying she's brave, breaking down barriers. And then I [said] she didn't do a lot for women drivers."

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