Host Jerrod Carmichael took sharp aim at the superstar actor and the Church of Scientology of which Cruise has been a prominent member — just seconds before introducing the actor’s Top Gun: Maverick co-stars Glenn Powell and Jay Ellis — during the awards telecast airing Tuesday on NBC.
As the show returned from a commercial break, Carmichael came on stage holding three Golden Globe statues.
“Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned,” Carmichael said to laughter in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, alluding to Cruise famously sending back his Globes in protest of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of Black voters in 2021.
“I’m just the host… but I have a pitch,” said Carmichael. “I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”
That, right there, is more brutal than anything famed Globes Ricky Gervais provocateur ever said during his notoriously edgy hosting duties in roasting Hollywood and the HFPA.
So who is Shelly Miscavige?
The wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige has been not been seen publicly since 2007. Ex-Scientologist-turned-whistleblower Leah Remini has claimed that Shelly, who reportedly served as Cruise’s celebrity “handler,” is missing. Remini even filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2013.
Amid all the speculation about Shelly’s whereabouts, the Church of Scientology has maintained that she is simply living a private life. The LAPD closed the case “within hours” of receiving her complaint, according to Remini, but in November she published a lengthy Twitter thread alleging the police was in cahoots with the religious group.
On Tuesday, Remini was quick to share a video of Carmichael’s bit on Twitter, thanking the host and again asking, “Where is Shelly????”
Powell and Ellis, meanwhile, remained pros. They proceeded with their pre-written banter about performing with Cruise before presenting Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series as if Carmichael hadn’t just savaged their famed co-star on live television.