Brilliant talent, stunning dresses, hundreds of flashing cameras…what could possibly go wrong on a red carpet? Apparently, a lot. From clueless reporters to downright absurd celebrity behavior, here’s a look at some of the most outrageous and cringeworthy red carpet interactions of all time.
Isaac Mizrahi Gropes Scarlett Johansson’s Breast (2006 Golden Globes)
When Scarlett Johansson told Isaac Mizrahi that her Valentino gown came with built-in support, he decided to cop a feel for himself. It was inappropriate, tasteless, and bizarre.
Will Smith Slaps “Prankster” (Men in Black 3 Premiere, 2012)
Controversial Ukranian “prankster” Vitalii Sediuk gave Will Smith a hug on the red carpet, then tried to kiss him. In response, the actor slapped Vitalii and said, “What the hell is your problem, buddy?”
Rashida Jones Responds to “Tan” Comment (2015 SAG Awards)
At the 2015 SAG Awards, TNT reporter Danielle Demski told Rashida Jones that she looked like she “just got off an island or something” and that she was very “tan and tropical.” Jones, who is biracial, responded succinctly: “I mean, you know, I’m ethnic.” Co-reporter JD Heyman, a white man, inexplicably chimed in “me too.”
John Travolta Kisses Scarlett Johansson (2015 Oscars)
No, that’s not a wax figure of Scarlett Johansson. That’s the actress standing totally still — and appearing incredibly uncomfortable — as John Travolta grabs her midsection and leans in for a kiss.
Amy Schumer Face-Plants (2015 Time 100 Gala)
Amy Schumer jokingly face-planted in front of Kimye on the red carpet — and the couple walked around her with hardly a glance. Schumer later described her decision to dive in front of Kimye on The Graham Norton Show, saying, “…I saw Kim and Kanye standing there, just owning it, just being short and important. And I think falling is the funniest thing, so I took a dive in front of them.” Epic.
Mayim Bialik Defends Her Intelligence (2014 SAG Awards)
A reporter asked The Big Bang Theory actress *and neuroscientist* Mayim Bialik, “Being on the Big Bang Theory, how many people—not that you aren’t a genius—think that you can solve calculus at the drop of a hat?” Bialik brilliantly replied to the insulting question by saying, “I was trained in calculus for several years. I’m a neuroscientist—you may not have known that?”
Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson Have a Mother-Daughter Moment (2015 Oscars)
This cringe-worthy interaction began as small talk: Had Melanie Griffith seen Fifty Shades of Grey? She hadn’t — and she noted more than once that she didn’t want to, either. “Alright! You don’t have to see it!” Johnson eventually snapped. The #momyoureembarrassingme exchange inspired many memes.
Björk Wears a Swan Dress (2001 Oscars)
This is one of the most iconic bird dresses of all time — that’s a category, right? Björk also brought six ostrich eggs with her (consider them accessories). “I was dropping them carefully on the red carpet,” she later told GQ. “But other people’s bodyguards kept picking them up and saying in their thick American accents, ‘Scuse me, ma’am, you dropped this.'”
Gary Busey Kisses Jennifer Garner’s Neck (2008 Oscars)
Gary Busey repeatedly interrupted Ryan Seacrest while he was interviewing Laura Linney and Jennifer Garner, but the encounter became truly uncomfortable when Seacrest asked Busey “do you know Jennifer Garner?”—and Busey responded by abruptly kissing her neck. Garner was visibly taken aback and responded to Seacrest’s next question with a very valid one of her own: “Aren’t you going to ask me about getting kissed on the neck on the red carpet by this man? Um, that was nice.”
Giuliana Rancic Asks Issa Rae What She’d Call Her Memoir (2018 Golden Globes)
But, wait … Issa Rae already has a memoir. It’s called The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. It was published in 2015 … it was a New York Times bestseller.
Debra Messing Drags E! While Being Interviewed By E! (2018 Golden Globes)
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” Debra Messing told E!’s Giuliana Rancic, referring to former E! co-host Catt Sadler. In December 2017, Sadler quit the network after learning that her male colleague, Jason Kennedy, earned nearly twice her salary.
Sacha Baron Cohen Dumps Ashes on Ryan Seacrest (2012 Oscars)
Sacha Baron Cohen showed up to the carpet dressed as his character from The Dictator, accompanied by female bodyguards and an urn of “Kim Jong-il’s ashes.” Things got really weird when he “accidentally” dumped the material all over Ryan Seacrest’s Burberry tux.
Jennifer Lawrence Trips (2014 Oscars)
One of Jennifer Lawrence’s many famous fumbles went down on the 2014 Oscars red carpet, the year she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for American Hustle. The year prio, she fell on her way to accept her Best Actress award for Silver Linings Playbook.
Jim Carrey Says Nothing Is Real (Harpers Bazaar ICONS party, 2017)
If you want to see a red-carpet reporter work hard for her money, look no further than Catt Sadler trying to rein in a very philosophical(????) Jim Carrey. “I wanted to find the most meaningless thing that I could come to and join,” he said of his attendance at Harpers Bazaar’s ICONS party. He then proceeded to explain how nothing was real, not even him.
Nancy O’dell Tells Taylor Swift She’s Going Home With a Lot of Men Tonight (2015 Grammys)
While interviewing Taylor Swift on the 2015 Grammys red carpet, ET’s Nancy O’dell actually told Taylor Swift: “You’re going to walk with more than a trophy tonight, I think, lots of men.” Taylor responded with perhaps the fiercest death stare of all time. “I’m not going to walk away with any men tonight,” she said. The conversation lightened up from there, but it was off to a rough start, to say the least.
Joan Rivers Accosts Nicole Kidman Over Her Dress (1997 Oscars)
At the 1997 Oscars, Joan Rivers belittled Nicole Kidman over the color of her gown. “Nicole! Come tell me why you wore such an ugly color!” she said. Nicole, either not hearing Rivers or opting to make conversation with people who weren’t going to insult her, walked on by. Rivers continued, “I hate that color! You are making me puke!”
Lil Uzi Vert Has a Strained Convo With Giuliana Rancic (2018 Grammys)
Giuliana Rancic and Lil Uzi Vert were not on the same page at the 2018 Grammys, at least not in terms of their enthusiasm levels. The exchange went something like this:
Giuliana: How are you feeling?
Lil Uzi Vert: I’m feeling normal.
Zac Efron Drops a Condom (The Lorax premiere, 2012)
Dropping a condom in public might be awkward under any circumstances, but it’s especially awkward when it happens at the premiere of a children’s movie. Zac Efron learned this the hard way, when a condom shot out of his pocket at the 2012 premiere of The Lorax.
Giuliana Rancic Tells Emilia Clarke “You Can Go” (2016 Emmys)
When Giuliana Rancic spotted Heidi Klum making her way over for an interview, the E! co-host told Emilia Clarke—with whom she’d been talking—that she’d let her go. The Game of Thrones star either didn’t hear Rancic or wasn’t in a rush to leave, because she stayed put. “You can go,” Rancic repeated. The co-host was polite, but the words hung awkwardly nonetheless.
Angelina Jolie Kisses Her Brother (2000 Oscars)
Back when Angelina Jolie was a first-time nominee at the 2000 Oscars, she kissed her guest on the red carpet. What made the moment buzz-worthy was the fact that her guest, James Haven, was her brother. Four years later, Jolie told PEOPLE, “First, we’re the best of friends. And it wasn’t some odd open-mouthed kiss. It was disappointing that something so beautiful and pure could be turned into a circus.”
Amy Schumer Talks Tampons (2016 Emmys)
“Who are you wearing?” is an expected question on the red carpet, but at the 2016 Emmys, Amy Schumer gave an unexpected answer. “An OB tampon!” she told Giuliana Rancic with a flare of realness. Bravo.
Jenna Bush Asks Pharrell about “Hidden Fences” (2017 Oscars)
While interviewing Pharrell, who produced Hidden Figures, Jenna Bush Hager asked him about a nonexistent movie called “Hidden Fences.” The non-title combined the names of two nominated movies, Hidden Figures and Fences, both of which starred predominantly black casts. Bush Hager apologized the next morning, and Pharrell and Hidden Figures stars Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer accepted on Twitter.
Will Arnet Avoids Question About Amy Poehler (2013 Emmys)
Post-separation from Amy Poehler, an ET reporter asked Will Arnett how he and his wife prepared for the event. Arnett responded, “I don’t really have a significant other… she doesn’t exist.” He ended the exchange on a funny note, saying, “I’m excited, I can’t wait to watch this back on YouTube all week.”
Jerry Seinfeld Turns Down Kesha’s Hug (2017)
Kesha approached Jerry Seinfeld at the David Lynch Foundation’s “A Night of Laughter and Song” and asked to give him a hug. He turned her down. She asked again (“just a little one?”) and he said “no thanks.” Turns out the comedian didn’t know who Kesha was, and when reporter Tommy McFly informed him, Seinfeld said, “Okay, well, I wish her the best.”
America Ferrera Is Violated By “Prankster” (2014 Cannes Film Festival)
While on the red carpet in Cannes for How to Train Your Dragon 2, controversial “prankster” Vitalii Sediuk—the same man who attempted to kiss Will Smith in 2012—stuck his head underneath America Ferrera’s dress. When security tried to drag him away, he clung to her ankle. Ferrera later described the incident as “a weird crazy dream.”