Top 10 Awkward Times Award Winning Speeches Got Cut Off



Top 10 Awkward Times Award Winning Speeches Got Cut Off

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Let the celebrity speak! For this list, we're looking at the top ten times celebrities were awkwardly cut off during an acceptance speech. Our countdown includes Guillermo del Toro, Joaquin Phoenix, Russell Crowe, Taylor Swift and more!
Script Written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Times Award Winning Speeches Got Cut Off Awkwardly

Let the celebrity speak! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Award Winning Speeches Got Cut Off Awkwardly.

For this list, we’ll be looking at instances where award show speeches were abruptly cut short, either due to the dreaded “play off” music or an unforeseen outside force.

#10: Tommy Wiseau

“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)
Whether you think “The Room” is the worst movie ever made, the best worst movie ever made, or a twisted masterpiece, nobody ever expected to see Tommy Wiseau on a televised award show. When James Franco won a Golden Globe for playing Wiseau, he welcomed the “disaster artist” himself onto the stage. Wiseau seemed to misread the situation, thinking that Franco was going to let him talk. Wiseau went for the mic, but Franco wrangled him away. While Franco proceeded to praise his influence, Wiseau didn’t even get a word in. Granted, it wasn’t Wiseau who won the award, but the moment was awkward nonetheless. Maybe Franco would’ve allowed Wiseau a moment to speak if the music didn’t start playing over his own speech.

#9: Guillermo del Toro

“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)
Guillermo del Toro is one of the most ambitious directors working today. For a while, he was also one of the most overdue filmmakers on the awards circuit. When he won his first Golden Globe for “The Shape of Water,” del Toro was finally given an opportunity to bask in the spotlight. He gave a passionate speech about how “monsters” and the movies saved this life. Then as the speech reached its emotional climax, the music started playing. Del Toro wasn’t having it, saying that it took him 25 years to get here and the least they could do is give him a minute. The music subsequently halted as del Toro got in a few more thank yous. Well, that was a mostly heartfelt moment.

#8: Joaquin Phoenix

“77th Golden Globe Awards” (2020)
All the bleeps and rambling aside, Joaquin Phoenix came off as very gracious and humble during his Golden Globes acceptance speech for “Joker.” He even applauded his fellow nominees, asserting that there’s really no such thing as the “Best Actor.” Phoenix’s speech also took several political turns, which culminated with him saying that the industry should do more than send Australia “well wishes” in the midst of the devastating bushfires and criticizing Hollywood’s non-eco-friendly use of private jets. It was at this moment that Phoenix got played off. Maybe it was because Phoenix’s speech was already running long. Considering that the Globes went vegan that night, though, many felt it was hypocritical when they denied Phoenix a chance to finish his thoughts on climate change.

#7: Rosario Dawson

“14th ALMA Awards” (2013)
In 2013, the ALMAS singled out Rosario Dawson with the Outstanding Commitment to Cause and Community Award. Since this special award was for activism, you’d think that Dawson would be given all the time she needed to spread her empowering message. While Dawson made her message loud and clear, the folks behind the scenes sent a mixed message when they prematurely played the music. Skimming her iPad, Dawson started speed reading through her meticulously-written speech. Although the audience kept applauding Dawson, the music continued to tune in and out. Dawson was still speaking when she got cut off entirely as the telecast went to commercial. For a show about recognizing American Latino artists, the producers didn’t seem all that interested in giving Dawson a voice.

#6: Sterling K. Brown

“69th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2017)
For his performance on “This Is Us,” Sterling K. Brown became the first African American to win the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy since Andre Braugher almost two decades earlier. This historic victory was a long time coming, but it didn’t translate into a very long acceptance speech. After thanking his cast members, Brown was about to acknowledge his show’s writers, directors, and producers when the music chimed in. As the music grew louder and the camera zoomed out, Brown eventually left the stage. Although Brown felt no ill-will towards anyone, he later joked on “The Late Show” that Nicole Kidman gave a much longer speech at the ceremony, but nobody interrupted her. That’s two uncomfortable moments for the price of one.

#5: Adele

“32nd Brit Awards” (2012)
Adele was on fire in 2012, winning the Brit Award for British Album of the Year. Being the biggest award of the night, Adele naturally got a substantial amount of time to speak, right? Actually, the recording artist barely got more than a few words in when host James Corden told her that she needed to wrap things up. Bidding the cheering audience farewell, Adele raised her middle finger before departing. Adele went on to clarify that the finger wasn’t directed at her fans, but the “suits” who cut her. Corden later explained that he felt “awful” about the whole ordeal, but was pressured by the producers to close out the show. Oh Adele, you left with no goodbye, not a single word was said.

#4: Drake

“61st Annual Grammy Awards” (2019)
Drake has made it no secret that he’s not the biggest fan of the Grammys, boycotting the award show all-together in 2018. To the surprise of many, Drake did attend the following year when he won Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan.” That doesn’t mean he had a change of tune, however. The Canadian rapper used this opportunity to tell his peers that award shows are opinion-based and the real victory is knowing that loyal fans are lining up to see their concerts. Drake seemingly had more to say, but got cut off before he could continue. The producers reportedly offered Drake a chance to come back out, but he instead settled for sharing an Instagram post that read, “Too raw for TV.”

#3: Yoda

“12th MTV Movie Awards” (2003)
Christopher Lee wasn’t in attendance at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards, but a CGI Yoda did show up to accept their award for Best Fight. Levitating onto the stage in his power chair, Yoda thanked George Lucas, his cast members, and (for some reason) Vin Diesel. Since Yoda’s thank you list was so long, it was only a matter of time until the music began playing. Being a Jedi master, though, Yoda was able to silence the orchestra with a wave of his hand. Making it clear that nobody forces him offstage, Yoda proceeded to drop some modern lingo and gave one final shout out to Queen Latifah. It’s about as awkward as the “Star Wars” prequels, but at least this bit was intentionally funny.

#2: Russell Crowe

“55th British Academy Film Awards” (2002)
Russell Crowe was on the fast-track to sweeping every major award show for his performance in “A Beautiful Mind,” especially after winning Best Actor at the BAFTAs. During his acceptance speech, the New Zealand native recited “Sanctity,” a poem by Patrick Kavanagh. Crowe was reportedly infuriated when the poem got edited out of the show’s Australian broadcast. He allegedly confronted BAFTA producer Malcolm Gerrie at a hotel, pushing him up against a wall while swearing up a storm. Although he later apologized to Gerrie, it was nonetheless a PR nightmare for Crowe. At the Academy Awards a month later, Crowe lost Best Actor to Denzel Washington. One can’t help but wonder if Crowe would’ve won his second Oscar had it not been for the controversy.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Aziz Ansari
“68th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2016)

Bette Midler
“71st Tony Awards” (2017)

Sally Field
“59th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2007)

Wayne Brady
“45th Daytime Emmy Awards” (2018)

Kate McKinnon
“69th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2017)

#1: Taylor Swift

“26th MTV Video Music Awards” (2009)
Even over a decade later, this remains one of the most infamous and talked about moments in award show history. Accepting the VMA for Best Female Video, Taylor Swift suddenly had the mic yanked away from her by Kanye West, who declared that Beyonce got robbed. Looking like a deer caught in the headlights, a speechless Swift just stood there with her award. Thankfully, Video of the Year would go to Beyonce, who let Swift have her moment. West was asked to leave the ceremony and the controversy continues to follow him in the form of countless parodies and memes. A lot of celebs know what it’s like to be played off, but only Swift knows what it’s like to get Kanyed off.