During the 2022 Golden Globe Awards, host Jerrod Carmichael made a shocking joke about Scientology, referencing Tom Cruise and David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige.
The comedian made the comment amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the awards’ organizers.
In the wake of an exposé into the lack of diversity within the HFPA and a separate ethics scandal, Cruise returned the Golden Globe trophies he had previously won.
The host returned to the stage midway through the ceremony and said:
“Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned. I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”
Miscavige is a member of the Church of Scientology, and the wife of its leader, David Miscavige. She has not been seen in public since 2007. Cruise has been a known Scientologist for 30 years.
Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick co-stars Glen Powell and Jay Ellis were being introduced to the stage just after Carmichael’s comment, which was not missed by the audience.
Viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts:
“Jerrod making a Shelly Miscavige joke before introducing cast members from Top Gun…we love to see it,”
“Lol Jerrod making a Shelly Miscavige joke to utter silence before introducing two actors from TOP GUN MAVERICK.”
Many viewers praised the comedian for addressing the issue, while others felt it was inappropriate.
During the ceremony, actors Colin Farrell and Michelle Yeoh both refused to be played off stage by the producers while giving their acceptance speeches.
The Golden Globe awards have been in turmoil for some time due to the controversy surrounding the HFPA and the boycott led by several prominent industry figures. The scandal has raised questions about the association’s commitment to diversity and ethical standards.