Monday, January 17, 2011

NBC Owes America an Apology

Robert Downey, Jr. and wife Susan pictured at the Academy Awards in 2010.

Gervais Also Needs to Issue Public Apology to
"Iron Man" Star & Recovering Addicts

Dear NBC Executives,

Unfortunately, the antics of your Golden Globes host became the focal point of the show -- as many in attendance and watching at home wondered what he would say or do next. Gervais and his comments overshadowed the heralded event, which is not what you want as an NBC executive or the director or producer of the Golden Globes. Few are talking about the show, in general, but everyone is talking about Gervais.

Secondly, anyone that has a friend or family member that is battling -- or has died as a result of -- drug addiction should be furious at Gervais. They should also hold the NBC network accountable because it hasn’t even bothered to issue anything in the way of an apology to those who may have been offended by comments made by the host, like the family, friends and supporters of Robert Downey, Jr.

Messages are being posted all over the Internet in support of Gervais citing his "comedic brilliance" and right to attack "a bunch of arrogant and hypocritical individuals that take themselves way too seriously".

After carefully examining a number of them, it became clear to me that the comments were solely based on a deep-seated hatred of Hollywood and celebrities. If these people were to put that bitterness and disdain aside for just one minute, and look at the larger issue, they would realize Gervais did something that was beyond shameful and goes against what this country is trying to accomplish in the wake of the Arizona shootings, which is tone down the rhetoric, nastiness and viciousness that has gripped our nation. If Robert Downey, Jr., a recovering addict that has made tremendous progress, felt Gervais was “hugely mean-spirited”, we would be well advised to listen to him.

The quip about Robert Downey, Jr's stint at the Betty Ford Clinic and the Los Angeles County jail was extremely insensitive, tasteless, uncalled for and unwarranted. Robert Downey, Jr., like millions of addicts in this country, fights an ongoing battle to remain sober. Some make it, while others succumb to their addiction -- leaving family and friends grieving for years. There isn't a goddamn thing funny about that, and you need to remind Gervais of this fact!

Every drug abuse counselor in America will tell you that addicts need all the support they can get, and they certainly don’t need to be publicly humiliated, ridiculed or torn down. To call someone out for past criminal behavior or addiction in a small setting is one thing, but to call them out amongst an audience of millions is extremely dangerous, reckless and the worst thing you could do to a recovering addict.

Now, I’m a fierce proponent of free speech, so I wouldn’t go as far as to say Gervais shouldn’t be invited back to host next year’s Golden Globe awards. However, his return should be predicated on Gervais agreeing to issue a formal, public apology to the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Robert Downey, Jr., recovering addicts all over the country and the family and friends of addicts that died while battling substance abuse.

I'll close with a special message for the controversial comedian. If you have something to say to me or about this commentary, Gervais, I'm not a hard man to find. I'll be waiting for you. Trust me on that.

This commentary is from the heart and…From The G-Man.

Photo source: United States Army

Photo credit: United States Army

Permission: Public Domain