The awards show host referenced the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige in a joke that elicited an audible gasp in the room.
By EW Staff January 10, 2023 at 10:53 PM EST
During the awards show, the comedian came out on stage to introduce presenters Glen Powell and Jay Ellis, who starred alongside notable Scientologist Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, holding three Globes in his hands.
“Backstage I found these three Golden Globes Awards that Tom Cruise returned. I’m just a host briefly or whatever, but I have a pitch,” he said, referring to the star giving back his statuettes in 2021 in protest of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s racial exclusion scandal. “Maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”
Jerrod Carmichael speaks onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California
Credit: Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images
Carmichael is referring to the the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who has allegedly not been seen publicly in many years. Former Scientologist Leah Remini has been public about her thoughts on it all, saying in a 2015 20/20 interview that she first questioned Shelly’s alleged disappearance at Cruise and Katie Holmes’ 2006 wedding. Remini claimed that when she asked officials at the event where Shelly was, they repeatedly brushed her off, making the actress more concerned. Remini would go on to file a missing-persons report for Shelly Miscavige after the actress left the church — a move that Scientology reps called a “publicity stunt.” Police told ABC at the time the case had been investigated and was closed.
The joke during Tuesday’s awards show caused an audible gasp and some hoots and hollers from the audience gathered at the Beverly Hilton, according to EW staff in attendance. And gratitude from Remini, who tweeted about it shortly after. “Thank you Jerrod Carmichael,” she wrote. “Where is Shelly??”
As for Cruise’s Golden Globes — which he won in 1990 for Born on the Fourth of July (Best Actor in a Drama), 1997 for Jerry Maguire (Best Actor in a Drama), and 2000 for Magnolia (Best Supporting Actor) — the actor famously returned them in a show of protest against the HFPA, the group that puts on the Globes, after it came under fire for its utter lack of diversity in 2021, following the bombshell publication of a Los Angeles Times exposé citing unethical practices.
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