Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was in attendance at the 95th Academy Awards where she elegantly tackled a humorous question by host Jimmy Kimmel.
During a break at the Oscars ceremony, Kimmel walked up to Yousafzai in the audience and read out a fan question. It went, “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?”
The question, drawing awkward laughs around the room, was in reference to #spitgate, an online controversy sparked off by a viral video showing Harry Styles seemingly spitting on his Don’t Worry Darling co-star Chris Pine at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
Malala, while appearing a little fazed by Kimmel’s joke, quickly responded, “I only talk about peace.”
Later during the show, things turned more awkward for Malala, as someone dressed in a ‘Cocaine Bear’ suit strode up the aisles and reportedly pestered the 25-year-old activist.
The internet responded strongly to Malala’s treatment at the Oscars, with some accusing Kimmel of disrespecting the global peace icon.
Malala, however, reshared a video of her exchange with Kimmel on Twitter and wrote, “Treat people with kindness.”
Malala is a Pakistan-born female education activist who was shot and wounded by the Taliban in 2012. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her courage and advocacy, becoming the world’s youngest Nobel Laureate.
Stranger at the Gate, a documentary executive-produced by Malala and focusing on an ex-US Marine who is accepted by his local Muslim community, was nominated for Best Documentary Short Film at the 2023 Oscars.
It lost out to India’s The Elephant Whisperers.