Golden Globes Host Ricky Gervais Regrets Dissing Tim Allen at 2011 Ceremony: 'I Think He Took It Wrong'

Tim Allen can breathe a sigh of relief: The Last Man Standing star will not be on Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais‘ celeb hit list at Sunday’s ceremony (8/7c, NBC). Ahead of his fifth stint as Globes emcee, Gervais admits in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he now regrets taking that infamous dig (watch video above) at Allen at the 2011 show.

“I think he took it wrong,” Allen tells THR. “The joke was [about] him and Tom Hanks. I came out and said, ‘Our next two presenters, the first has won five Oscars, combined box office of five billion dollars. And the other [is] Tim Allen.’ It’s a fine joke. But anyone standing next to Tom Hanks [would’ve been a target of such a swipe], unless it’s Dustin Hoffman or Robert Redford or Robert De Niro.

“I have nothing against Tim Allen,” Gervais adds. “He’s a good actor. He’s probably a nice bloke. So even though there’s no malice and I can justify it comedically and everyone laughed, I didn’t want Tim Allen to think, ‘Oh, that was written for me. Why me?’ Well, because you were standing next to Tom Hanks.”

Gervais, however, makes no apologies for a joke he made (also at the 2011 ceremony) about the cast of Sex and the City, despite blowback he received from Kim Cattrall. “I said the [award] for special effects should go to the team who airbrushed the Sex and the City poster,” he recalls. “It was ludicrous. And I said, ‘We know how old you are, girls. I saw one of you on an episode of Bonanza.’ And [Cattrall] said that was ageist. But my point was, no, it was the opposite. I was saying, ‘What’s wrong with being 50?’ Who’s watching that film going, ‘She’s 49. I’m not watching that s–t.’ Why do we have to make them look 22? It’s creepy. So my target was the opposite of what she thought it was.”