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A Brief History of Celebs Cursing at the Golden Globes, From Ricky Gervais to Joaquin Phoenix

The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards will take place on Sunday, January 5, and with Ricky Gervais set to host again, we’re all but guaranteed a delightfully bleep-heavy show. But which celebs will slip up and keep the network censors on their toes? Well, if history is any indicator (and we hope it is) we’ll be in for another year of entertaining uncensored speeches and ad-lib riffs. Over the years we’ve seen quite the collection of expletives, from Amy Schumer to Olivia Colman to the queen herself, Meryl Streep. Maybe it’s all the booze, but more than a few A-listers have kept it real on the Globes stage, and we’re hoping the 2020 broadcast won’t disappoint.

While we usually only get to see celebrities in a highly staged and edited environment, live awards shows are a rare opportunity to glimpse their real personalities, thanks to red carpet interviews and hastily delivered acceptance speeches. From paying tribute to their families to rallying behind a cause, actors may use their time at the podium to show us their true selves — and if that means there’s a little impromptu swearing, all the better. After all, these stars are only human. And sometimes, humans accidentally drop an F-bomb to an audience of nearly 20 million people. Sorry, not sorry.

Read on for some of our favorite bleep-filled moments from past Golden Globe Awards, and be sure to tune in this Sunday; someone is bound to steal the effing show.

Ricky Gervais, 2020

Host Ricky Gervais kicked the evening off to a racy start at the 2020 Golden Globes, delivering an expletive-ridden opening monologue that touched on Leonardo DiCaprio’s penchant for dating younger women, Joe Pesci’s resemblance to Baby Yoda, and everything about the movie Cats. 

Joaquin Phoenix, 2020

We’d love to tell you what Joaquin Phoenix said at the 2020 Golden Globes — but since about half his speech was bleeped-out, it’s hard to say. We know he started by praising the Golden Globes for being plant-based this year and calling out the other actors in his category, but it all gets fuzzy from there. “Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat,” he offered, rubbing his hand over his face. “But the boat is f**king rocked.”

Patricia Arquette, 2019

In 2018, Patricia Arquette won a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Escape at Dannemora, and offered some colorful commentary on the prosthetic teeth she’d had to wear for the role. “How many f****d up teeth does a person need? I was born with f****d up teeth!” she quipped.

Olivia Colman, 2019

Olivia Colman’s “slip” was just plain adorable: “My b****es, Emma and Rachel,” she said to her The Favourite co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz after winning for her performance as Queen Anne. “Thank you. Every second of working with you girls was such a joy.”

Frances McDormand, 2018

Frances McDormand only cursed once during her 2018 acceptance speech (see above), but her speech is more often remembered because the network also bleeped out the words “shift” and “Searchlight” by mistake.

Amy Schumer, 2016

As friends Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence introduced clips to their movies, Trainwreck and Joy, the two joked about celebrity nicknames. “I’m J. Law,” said Lawrence. “I’m A. Schu,” said Schumer. Lawrence then said she couldn’t just give herself a nickname. “It has to come naturally,” explained Lawrence. “Usually they just call me a c***” said Schumer. The camera panned to Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Cate Blanchett, who both looked stunned.

Jacqueline Bisset, 2014

In 2014, Jacqueline Bisset earned a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Dancing on the Edge — and her speech left a few viewers confused by its rambling nature. Her closing line? “What did [my mother] say? She’d say, ‘Go to hell and don’t come back.'”

Elisabeth Moss, 2014

When Elisabeth Moss won a Golden Globe for Top of the Lake, her reaction was total disbelief — leading her to gasp “oh sh*t” the second she got on stage.

Aaron Paul, 2014

Aaron Paul didn’t even give a speech, and he still managed to get an expletive in there. While Vince Gilligan was accepting a Golden Globe for Breaking Bad, he invited series lead Paul up to the microphone to deliver his character Jesse Pinkman’s classic line: “Yeah b***h!”

Meryl Streep, 2012

While accepting a Golden Globe for her performance in The Iron Lady in 2012, the legendary actress let out an extended, agonized “oh s**t” upon realizing she forgot her glasses. “I’m going to have to remember my speech,” she sighed, without missing a beat.

Here’s hoping 2020 brings many more delightful bleeps our way.


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