Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael stayed true to his biting comedy as he stunned the audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with a Shelly Miscavige joke during Tuesday’s ceremony, poking fun at “Top Gun” star and Scientologist Tom Cruise who returned his three Golden Globe awards in protest in 2021.
“Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned,” Carmichael said while struggling to hold the three awards in his arms. “I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige,” he said to audible gasps, referencing the wife of notable Scientology leader David Miscavige.
On top of that, Carmichael made his remarks ahead of announcing “Top Gun: Maverick” actors as presenters — yikes.
In May 2021, Cruise announced that he would return the three awards he had previously won as a result of the backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, following a Los Angeles Times exposé that reported there were zero Black members in the HFPA.
Leah Remini, a vocal critic of the Church of Scientology who raised questions about Miscavige’s whereabouts in her A&E docuseries “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” took to Twitter moments after Carmichael’s joke to say, “Where’s Shelly?”
The striking joke followed Carmichael’s shockingly blunt monologue, in which he brought up the HFPA’s tarnished reputation and controversy, saying “I’m here ’cause I’m Black.”
“This show, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year,” Carmichael reminded the audience. “I won’t say they were racist, but they didn’t have a single black member since George Floyd died.”