Tom Hanks and Ricky Gervais: do the Hollywood stars have a feud? Comedian’s ‘high horse’ comments explained

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Back in 2020, the SuperNature comedian called out the Oscar winning actor for being on his ‘high horse’

Hollywood is a massive industry filled to the brim with lots of different characters - it’s pretty much a guarantee that not everyone is going to get along.

Whether it’s because someone is dating someone elses ex-wife like the Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson drama, or because someone made a comment about someone’s appearance, like the Chris Rock, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Oscars fiasco, there’s always something going on in the world of celebrities.

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The current spat to have caught the attention of the internet is that between Tom Hanks and Ricky Gervais.

This is what you need to know.

Do Tom Hanks and Ricky Gervais have a feud?

In 2020, Gervais suggested that Hanks didn’t find him and his jokes funny because he feels “above” them, following the actor’s viral reaction to Gervais presenting the Golden Globes.

At the time, a clip of Hanks looking rather fed up with Gervais stole the show. Gervais, who has hosted the awards ceremony on a number of occasions, is known for his monologues targeting the Hollywood stars in the audience.

The clip of Tom Hanks went viral after the awards ceremony (Photo: NBC)The clip of Tom Hanks went viral after the awards ceremony (Photo: NBC)
The clip of Tom Hanks went viral after the awards ceremony (Photo: NBC) | NBC

Talking on the Stuff of Legends podcast, reflected on the Oscar winner’s reaction, in which he accused him of being on his “high horse” after he failed to laugh at a joke about “woke” culture.

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Gervais told host Christain O’Connell: “The big meme was Tom Hanks going: “Why is he saying that?” and people are going, “Oh, look, he’s on his high horse.” But when Leonardo DiCaprio laughed, people loved him for it.

“I think people who laugh at a joke, they get a round of applause because people go, “Oh that’s good, they can take it”, we don’t want people to be above it.”

He continued: “We even let people be privileged as long as they say, “I know I am privileged but I’m nothing really”, we don’t like people to go, “Oh I deserve it, how dare you talk to me like that”.”

Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images)Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images)
Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images) | 2020 NBCUniversal Media, LLC via

In 2011, Hanks first suggested that he wasn’t Gervais’ biggest fan at the Golden Globes following a joke about himself and Toy Story co-star Tim Allen.

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Gervais said: “What can I say about our next two presenters? The first is an actor, producer and director whose movies have grossed over $3.5bn at the box office.

“He’s won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes for his powerful and varied performances, starring in such films as Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan. The other… is Tim Allen.”

Rita Wilson and actor/producer Tom Hanks arrive at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Rita Wilson and actor/producer Tom Hanks arrive at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Rita Wilson and actor/producer Tom Hanks arrive at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) | Getty Images

After making his way on stage, Hanks said, in an unscripted moment: “We remember when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian - neither of which he is now.”

Gervais later admitted to regretting telling the joke, saying that he didn’t think Hanks and Allen understood that he would have said it regardless of whom Hanks had been on stage with.

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He told O’Connell: “I could say a lot worse things about them, but I don’t want it to get really nasty and for no reason.”

Why are people talking about their feud now?

Given that all sources regarding their supposed feud trace back to 2020 and nothing more recent, you may be confused as to why people have started talking about it now.

It likely comes down to the fact that both stars have been in the news lately - with Hanks starring in the new Elvis biopic, Presley, and Gervais fielding backlash for his newest Netflix special SuperNature.

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