Malala dazzles in silver sequins at Oscars, outsmarts host’s awkward question
Nobel Peace Prize winner had a perfect reply when asked if Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine
March 13, 2023 11:59 PM
Before she even turned 18, Malala Yousafzai had become one of the leading advocates for women’s education in Pakistan; she survived a Taliban murder attempt; and won a Nobel Peace Prize. She’s one of the most heroic, inspirational and impactful humans on the planet. So, of course, at the 2023 Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel had to force her to weigh in on one of last year’s stupidest non-troversies: Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine during the Venice Film Festival premiere of Don’t Worry, Darling?
“As the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history, do you think Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?” Kimmel asked Yousafzai with a completely straight face. Without missing a beat, she simply replied, “I only talk about peace.”
“That’s why you’re Malala,” Kimmel said. “That’s a great answer.”
Malala Yousafzai is an executive producer on the short movie Stranger at the Gate, which was nominated in the best documentary short subject category at the 2023 Oscars, ultimately losing to The Elephant Whisperers.
#SpitGate became a favorite Internet debate topic last fall after a video surfaced that appeared to show the “As It Was” singer and Billboard Hot 100 topper leaning over Pine and spitting on him. A rep for Pine soon explained it was merely an “odd online illusion” in the clip.
Just a few weeks ago, Pine explained in greater detail what happened. “He leaned down, and I think he said, ‘It’s just words, isn’t it?’” Pine shared. “‘Cause we had this little joke. We’re all jet-lagged, we’re all trying to answer these questions. Sometimes when you’re doing these press things, your brain gets befuddled and you start speaking gibberish. And we had a joke: ‘It’s just words, man.’”
Malala Yousafzai made her debut at the Oscars and attended the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with her husband, Asser Malik.
Malala and her husband, Asser Malik, attended the Oscars 2023 ceremony. They came to support the Best Documentary Short Film category nominee Stranger At The Gate. The paparazzi clicked Malala and her husband on the red carpet. While Malala chose a hooded heavily-embellished gown for her debut, her husband chose a tailored black tuxedo. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate's ensemble is from the luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren.
Peace Prize winner dazzles
Malala Yousafzai walked the Oscars champagned-coloured carpet wearing head-to-toe sparkling sequins before revealing pop star Rihanna would be most likely to bring out her "fangirl" at this year's awards.
The activist and campaigner, 25, stood with her husband in a silver, sequined, long-sleeved gown with gathered detailing at the midriff and a matching hijab.
The Ralph Lauren dress harkened back to a look by the same designer worn by actress Janelle Monae at the 2020 Academy Awards.
"This is my first time, it's just been so surreal," she said. "There are so many beautiful and gorgeous people walking around — I can't believe they are by my side.”
Asked if there was anyone who would make her "fan girl", she laughed and replied "Rihanna". "I can't wait to see her and then hear her sing, I don't know what's going to happen to me."
About Stranger at the Gate, she said "This is such a powerful story about the power of forgiveness, redemption, compassion, and I was so honoured to be a part of it."
Malala Yousafzai has previously spoken out about the lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood films. She used her speech as one of the honourees at Variety's Power of Women in September 2022 to talk about the issue, saying that even the response of industry executives towards commissioning projects by minority creatives felt like being told "we just don't belong here".
Cocaine Bear makes Malala uncomfortable
Things got a little awkward between Jimmy Kimmel and Malala Yousafzai at the 2023 Academy Awards also.
Kimmel approached Yousafzai during the telecast to ask her very pressing question from a fan named Joanne.
“She asked, your work on human rights and education for women and children is an inspiration – as the youngest Nobel prize winner in history, do you think Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?” Kimmel asked her.
The question was referring to the rumors of a fight between the two actors on the set of “Don’t Worry Darling.”
In response, Yousafzai, who seemed uneasy, said, “I only talk about peace.”
Things got even more uncomfortable for Yousafzai when presenters brought out the real-life “Cocaine Bear,” someone in a bear suit from Elizabeth Banks’ film, and as it paraded down the aisles, it strangely pestered the activist.
Kimmel had to tell the bear leave Yousafzai alone.
“Cocaine bear, leave Malala alone!” he said, as she looked uncomfortable in her seat.
She responded to the moment on Twitter, re-tweeting the clip from ABC, and writing in the caption, “Treat people with kindness.”
On Twitter, many were angered by the moment and the question that was asked of the activist.
“I actually thought Jimmy was about to ask Malala Yousafzai a serious question and then he asked her a stupid one!” one viewer tweeted. “What a stupid segment.”
Another agreed, typing, “If anyone wants to know what’s happening at the Oscars: someone in a bear suit is crawling on all fours harassing Malala Yousafzai.”
“Did they really just ask Malala Yousafzai if she thinks Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine for a cheap laugh??” another wrote. “Jesus Christ guys. Be more out of touch.”