At last year’s Academy Awards, John Travolta mangled Idina Menzel’s name by calling her “Adele Dazeem.” At this year’s ceremony, while trying to poke fun at his past mistake, Travolta ended up getting handsy with both Menzel and Scarlett Johansson. The Internet reacted in moderation, giving Travolta credit for trying to get back in everyone’s good graces and acknowledging that he probably just got carried away in his efforts to please. Just kidding! The Internet is now mercilessly lampooning Travolta’s behavior by crowning him Hollywood’s creepy uncle and depicting him fondling everyone from Kanye West to the Statue of Liberty.
However, The Wrap reports that Johansson—who in a widely distributed red carpet photo appears to be barely tolerating a kiss on the cheek from Travolta—told the Associated Press that “there is nothing strange, creepy, or inappropriate about John Travolta.” She added:
The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome. That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live. Yet another way we are misguided, misinformed, and sensationalized by the 24-hour news cycle. I haven’t seen John in some years, and it is always a pleasure to be greeted by him.
Regarding a moment during the broadcast when Travolta rubbed his hands all over Menzel’s face, a representative for the Wild Hogs star said that the gesture was “rehearsed in total” and that the slowly growing alarm felt by viewers—who sensed that we were about to witness Travolta eat another human being in front of a live audience in order to absorb her essence and continue his blitzkrieg against aging—was probably misplaced.
So there you go, Internet. John Travolta is a completely normal person who doesn’t violate other people’s personal space and is definitely not wearing someone else’s skin. The 24-hour news cycle can now return to more important matters, like the color of a dress.