Hollywood Foreign Press divided over inviting Ricky Gervais back to the Golden Globes

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The Hollywood Foreign Press is currently divided on whether or not to invite controversy magnet Ricky Gervais back to the Golden Globes for his third year as host.

The rub? Invite Gervais back and get high ratings, but further tarnish the Golden Globes brand (it's supposed to celebrate movie stars, not take the piss out of them) or ban Gervais and look like humourless Snapes.

It doesn't help that the channel that broadcasts the show, NBC , has been conducting a campaign for Gervais' return.

"There are those who feel that ratings and revenue are what the HFPA need to focus on most,” a Deadline source said. “Of course that’s all NBC is interested in."

"The other faction believes that without Ricky, you may lose a little in viewership but wind up better protecting the brand. Some think the job of a host should be enhancing everyone’s experience and making sure they all have a good time."

"But that isn’t where Ricky’s head is at. He tends to make it all about his career and all about him. The question the association has to answer now is, is the boost in interest ultimately worth the price? Nobody really knows which way it’s going to go yet."

"But what NBC needs and what’s in the best interests of the HFPA may be two very different things.”

Gervais, whose most recent blast of negative publicity involved a word we're not prepared to reprint here, has said he'd be up for returning.

He's even announced he'll be part of the 2012 Golden Globes even if he isn't invited back - in the form of a live webcast during the ceremony.

So either way, it looks like Gervais will be a part of the show. We'll find out in a couple of months whether or not that's a good thing.