Why Did Tom Cruise Return His Golden Globes?

Tom Cruise wasn’t off-limits at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards, despite his messy relationship with the awards show.

Host Jerrod Carmichael made a particularly brutal jab at the actor – who isn’t nominated tonight – and his decision to return his three Golden Globe awards in 2021 in response to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s many controversies, which include lack of Black representation, anti-Asian racism, and sexual misconduct.

Before introducing presenters Glen Powell and Jay Ellis, Cruise’s costars in Top Gun: Maverick, Carmichael entered the stage with three trophies.

“Hey, guys backstage I found these,” the host said. “It’s the three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned.”

Cruise had won the awards for his roles in Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia.

But that wasn’t all, Carmichael had more jokes up his sleeve – including one that left many in shock. “I’m just a host briefly or whatever, but I have a pitch. Maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige,” he said in reference to the missing wife of Scientology leader and Cruise’s close friend David Miscavige.

Beyond the traditionally joking nature of the ceremony, Cruise’s beef with the ceremony runs deeper than one big snub.

Cruise was one of the first – and loudest – Hollywood celebrities to respond to the controversy surrounding the HFPA in 2021, which led to NBC refusing to air the awards show in 2022 and boycotts from Netflix, Amazon, and more. After it was revealed that the voting body had zero Black members at the time, the Top Gun actor returned all three Golden Globe awards that he had previously won.

While Cruise isn’t nominated for a Best Actor award tonight, his star vehicle flick is nominated for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Song.

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