John Travolta may want to stay away from awards ceremonies. The actor once again screwed up his presenter duties during a live awards ceremony, this time at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Five years after his infamous botching of Idina Menzel’s name at the 2014 Oscars, Travolta poked fun at himself by refusing to read the Video of the Year award winner at the 2019 VMAs.
According to Page Six, while presenting MTV’s award for Video of the Year, the 65-year-old star told his co-presenter, Queen Latifah, to read the winner’s name out loud because “I’ll f–k it up.”
Latifah announced that Taylor Swift won Video of the Year for her song “You Need to Calm Down.”
But Travolta didn’t escape the stage unscathed. When her win was announced, Swift brought a posse of performers on stage with her, including RuPaul’sDrag Race alum Jade Jolie and several other drag queens featured in her winning video, and that seemed to confuse the Pulp Fiction star.
When presenting the award to Swift, Travolta tried to hand MTV’s Moon Man trophy to Jolie, E! News reports. The actor appeared to stop short and do a double-take as he looked at the drag star.
E! notes that Jolie laughed and gave the Welcome Back Kotter alum a semi side-hug before the trophy’s rightful owner, Swift, was given her award. Still, Travolta’s slip-up did not go unnoticed as Twitter had a field day with his confusion over who the pop star was.
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) August 27, 2019
It was five years ago that Travolta made headlines for introducing Frozen star Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem.” Travolta butchered the introduction of the Tony Award winner ahead of her musical performance at the 86th Academy Awards.
According to The Wrap, Travolta’s gaffe went viral after the actor seemingly made up a name for the “wickedly talented” singer, but the ceremony’s host Ellen DeGeneres saved the day. DeGeneres later thanked “Idina Menzel” for her stunning performance at the end of the song, and she made sure to repeat the singer’s correct name several times.
Travolta later explained that it was Goldie Hawn who distracted him as a production assistant tried to explain that Menzel’s name would be spelled phonetically on the teleprompter, citing that as the reason why he was confused by the “Let It Go” singer’s name. The actor later apologized to Menzel by sending her an enormous bouquet of flowers.