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Paul Thomas Anderson Slams American Airlines in Indie Spirit Acceptance Speech

The airline was one of the awards ceremony’s sponsors

Paul Thomas Anderson made for some inherent awkwardness at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards, slamming one of the show’s sponsors American Airlines in an acceptance speech.

“Don’t fly American Airlines. They will f—ing lose your luggage,” Anderson said. “It happened to me. Seriously.”

Anderson, who took home the Robert Altman award with the producers and cast of “Inherent Vice,” called out the airline as a tent full of A-listers laughed and cringed.

That would account for his casual look: jeans and a flannel shirt. His wife, Maya Rudolph, stood nearby in appropriate beach attire for the Santa Monica show, so perhaps her suitcase made it through.

“We just want to congratulate him on his award today,” an airline spokesperson told TheWrap, “if we can do anything to help him out in the future we will be absolutely sure to do so.”

Not long after Anderson dropped the f-bomb, show hosts Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen did a bit from the American Airlines backstage lounge. Perhaps in an attempt to make good for the slam, they joked about how exclusive the area was and donned credentials that said “Jennifer Lopez” and “Pope Francis” just to get in.

Later on, Bennett Miller accepted the Special Distinction award for “Foxcatcher,” and offered a mea culpa allegedly from Anderson.

“He was just showing his independent spirit,” Miller joked, “he actually meant United.”

Then, Twitter proved bridges had been rebuilt. The director made nice with American employees backstage, and even tried out one of their cushy new seats.


Tim Kenneally contributed to this report.