From: The Washington Post

Ricky Gervais teaches Hollywood what speaking truth to power really means

If you had “host Ricky Gervais becomes a conservative darling” in your office Golden Globes pool, congratulations, because you must have won a bundle. The rest of us will continue our slow, astonished blink as we contemplate the fact that this year’s most talked-about speech slammed not oil companies or gender inequality, but Hollywood hypocrisy:

“You say you’re woke,” said Gervais, “but the companies you work for — I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

There are certainly famous people who have taken genuinely brave stands for social justice… The awards-show grandstanders, on the other hand, cost themselves nothing and, indeed, get a great deal of attention for themselves as well as their causes.

What Gervais did, by contrast, was genuinely risky. He didn’t call out some shadowy villain who is perpetuating the patriarchy or warming the planet; he attacked people right there in the room, ones who could affect his future employment prospects.

In the process, Gervais neatly illustrated exactly why so many people so resent the increasingly ritualized ceremonial sanctimony. Because it turns out that this may be exactly what makes people hate hypocrites so much: They fool us into giving them credit for holding potentially costly moral beliefs without actually paying those costs.

A 2017 paper from the journal Psychological Science reported a series of experiments demonstrating that we give people moral credit for condemning bad behavior — more credit than we give them for just stating that they themselves behave morally. But by the same token, we resent people who condemn others while privately indulging the same vices even more than we resent those who falsely claim to do the right thing. In fact, the people they studied seemed willing to give people a pass on hypocrisy if they admitted they didn’t live up to their own ideals.

Read the whole story: The Washington Post

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