The Academy Awards might have managed to avoid any physical altercations happening on stage this year, but the broadcast wasn’t without controversy. And if you thought everyone’s favorite unproblematic actor Will Smith was an unlikely source for it to be centered around, try bumbling British rom-com lead Hugh Grant.
Even if you didn’t tune in to the awards ceremony, chances are you’ve seen the interaction online: supermodel Ashley Graham was tasked with interviewing celebrities on the red carpet as they arrived and when she spoke with Grant, he avoided answering her questions properly and quite literally gave her nothing.
The clip soon became the most talked-about moment of the night, blowing up online with some defending Grant and his grumpy British ways — Jameela Jamil said that’s why the Brits have always loved him, for example — others slammed him for treating someone with such apparent contempt who was just trying to do her job and another used times they’ve met the 62-year-old to put the way he was behaving into context (eg. he’s actually really shy and, according to DeuxMoi, once opened a taxi door for his dad enthusiastically greeting him with, “Hi Daddy!” whatever that proves).
Now, Graham herself has addressed the situation, telling TMZ reporters who flagged her down at the airport that she followed advice her mom once told her to navigate the awkwardness: kill people with kindness.
“You know what? My mama told me to kill people with kindness,” Graham said when asked about Grant, before adding, “So there you go.”
When asked if she had anything else to say to the actor, Graham declined but did note she had a wonderful time at the event and afterparty. “I had so much fun, my feet hurt though.”
Give her the Oscar.