David Letterman criticises Tom Cruise for ditching Oscars: ‘He should’ve been there’

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star skipped film awards due to ‘production issues’

Inga Parkel
Thursday 16 March 2023 21:21 GMT
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel cracks Will Smith slap gag

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David Letterman has called out Tom Cruise for skipping the 2023 Oscars, arguing that the actor “should’ve been there”.

The Top Gun: Maverick star’s absence at the Academy Awards was announced by emcee Jimmy Kimmel during his opening monologue, in which he made a Scientology joke that he later said would’ve been cut had Cruise been there. Cruise is famously a member of the controversial religion.

Speaking to the late-night host about his successful Oscars broadcast on Wednesday (15 March) night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Letterman asked: “Where was Tom Cruise?”

“We don’t know where Tom Cruise was,” Kimmel answered. “We heard production issues.”

“What does that mean?” Letterman asked, calling it “nonsense”.

“Exactly. It’s very non-specific,” Kimmel agreed. “But we have no idea what happened.”

Letterman added: “Cruise should’ve been there celebrating his jet pack Maverick show”.

David Letterman, Tom Cruise and Jimmy Kimmel
David Letterman, Tom Cruise and Jimmy Kimmel (Getty Images)

“Yeah. It seems like he should’ve been there, but he was not there. Maybe he feels like he wasn’t going to win so he didn’t want to come,” Kimmel responded.

“But between you and me, he should have been there, right?” Letterman reiterated.

“Yeah, of course,” Kimmel concurred. “He’s the prince of Hollywood.”

“More to the power of your success,” Letterman praised. “If Mr Big Shot was not there, the show was still never more successful. Nice going, Jimmy.”

Last week’s broadcast drew the highest Oscars viewership in three years.

In an interview ahead of the ceremony, the Academy of Science and Motion Pictures CEO Bill Kramer explained that Kimmel was a “safe choice” because he “knows how to handle television and a live audience”.

“That’s a very specific skill, and there aren’t a lot of people who can do that well. Jimmy is a dream to work with,” Kramer added.

Cruise wasn’t the only big name to miss the Oscars. Avatar director James Cameron also skipped the evening for “personal reasons”, according to his co-producer Jon Landau.

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