That’s Travolting! Meme Battles Begin After Awkward Travolta Oscar Grapples

The awkward fumbling of John Travolta at The Oscars sparked a frenzy of photoshopping across the world wide web.

Travolta began stealing the social media show before Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony had even started.

Last year at the Oscars he made a mess of Frozen singer Idina Menzel’s name, this year’s major moment came when he snuck up behind Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet. Approaching from the rear, 61 year old Travolta kissed Johansson on the cheek, while sliding a serpent-like hand around her waist.

It being the Oscars, there wasn’t a shortage of people with cameras around to capture the moment, forever immortalising the slippery smooch and Johansson’s charitably amused reaction.

This was like a red rag to a keenly Travolta photoshopping bull, with a fountain of memes splurging forth the good, bad, ugly, and disturbing.

Starring in one particularly inspired Reddit hall of fame are Kanye West, the Statue of Liberty, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Tom Cruise and even Travolta kissing Travolta as his character in the movie-musical Hairspray. That old smoothie Joe Biden makes an appearance too.






Travolta wasn’t done there though, and decided to stoke the social fires some more, because why not? It’s the Oscars. Reunited with Idina Menzel, who he mistakenly introduced last year as ‘Adele Dazeem’, this time around he merely proceeded to stroke her face. And keep stroking it.


In a striking suggestion of very mild self-awareness, Travolta later commented on the exchange.

“Apparently I played with her chin too much.”

They’ve got the chills, he’s multiplying, because he was losing control(?)

But has he ever had much?

Evidently much light was made of Travolta’s highly questionable antics, and perhaps too much light. How acceptable was the behaviour broadcast to a global audience. Once you are a star of John Travolta’s status you are free to place your hands wherever you want. Just go right ahead. Personal space need not apply to you. Certainly not somewhere like the Oscars where people want to see the relationships between actors, the cavorting and merriment, and you being good old John.

We can laugh about Travolta, photoshop, make gifs, share them, have banal conversations about it, and plenty have. But is it ok? Come next year’s Academy Awards might there be a little more consideration of the invites and who goes where?

Or will John Travolta remain a concrete, unimpeachable Hollywood legend with a free pass to slip and slide wherever he wants for the rest of his days?

[Top image: Kevin Mazur / WireImage]