Chris Haston, NBC]
Friends star Jennifer Aniston won a Golden Globe Award Sunday night and thanked all of her co-stars, even referring to them as her family. She "forgot" to even mention her husband, movie star Brad Pitt.
Quite frankly, I was shocked. When Jennifer Aniston made her acceptance speech after winning the Golden Globe for best actress in a TV musical or comedy series at Sunday night's awards celebration, she didn't even thank husband Brad Pitt. For shame! Poor boy was sitting at the table with all of Aniston's "real" friends (from her hit TV show, that is). Friends that she made a big fuss over (in her speech), referring to each of them by name: Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow, and making a point to refer to them not only as her friends but as family. And there sat poor old Brad Pitt, movie star, heartthrob, smiling bravely at his wife with a look of desperation that said, "Please, please mention me." But alas, she snubbed him.
Grounds for divorce? In my books, yes. Oh, she'll say she forgot, but we all know otherwise -- trouble in paradise, I would say. Ten to one, in the next few months we'll read that the Pitt-Aniston union is on the rocks. When the partner doesn't get thanked, you know something's up. As far as I could see, all of the other recipients of awards on Sunday night knew enough to mention their significant others -- and avoid certain wrath.
In the past, at similar awards shows, I have seen some stars go to great lengths not to mention their current love interest, at least not by name. Take Robert Redford, for example, who was given a lifetime achievement honour at last year's Academy Awards. When he arrived at the awards, I noticed he had a woman with him. I was curious to see if he would mention her. When he made his speech, he got out of it smoothly by saying, after thanking everyone in his life, "and I would also like to thank my lady friend." And that was it -- no name, nothing. The camera took a shot of "the lady friend," and the look on her face said it all: She was aghast.
Being a compassionate sort, I immediately put myself in her shoes. If I were the lady friend of Robert Redford and had been mentioned but not really mentioned, what would I have done?
Well, the prudent thing would probably have been to thank him for acknowledging me, his "lady friend," then thank my lucky stars I was fortunate enough to be in the company of Robert Redford.
But knowing me, that's not what I would have done. What I probably would have done was refuse to speak to him for the rest of the evening, then, when we got home, rant and rave until the wee hours of the morning, or even longer. At that point, I would probably have decided to walk out, that is of course assuming I hadn't already been thrown out.
I would have been accused of being a prima donna (not the first time), but let's face it, not mentioning a loved one on an awards night is a serious offence.
It strikes me that there should be rules to prevent these uncomfortable moments, so here are a few I've put together, just in time for the Oscars.
1. If you win an Academy Award, you must publicly dedicate the night to your spouse or companion if, and only if, he/she is a star in their own right, as in the case of Brad Pitt. "I owe it all to my gorgeous husband, Brad Pitt." Even if it's not true, Pitt is a star, and this is Hollywood.
2. If you win an Academy Award, you must at least mention your wife/husband, even if they are not a star, and you must say their name -- i.e. "I'd like to thank Carol," not just "I'd like to thank my wife."
3. If you win an Academy Award, and you are not married but you are there with a date, you must mention the date by name, even if you just throw his/her name in with a group. It could go something like this: "I'd like to thank the grips, Tony, Jim, Bob, and Ted, and of course my friend, Gayle." Trust me, she'll love you for it.
4. If you do not want to mention your date, then don't bring one. Just come on your own. Nicole Kidman does it all the time, and it doesn't seem to hurt her a bit.
And one more word of advice, at least for the women who are attending the Oscars. Don't worry too much about your dress; it really doesn't matter what you wear or what you look like: You're never going to look as good as Halle Berry anyway.