Scarlett Johansson defended John Travolta on Thursday (Feb. 26), calling the actor “a class act” and denouncing the image of the two on the Academy Awards red carpet as “an unfortunate still-frame” that doesn’t reflect a “totally sweet and totally welcome” encounter.
In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press, Johansson said “there is nothing strange, creepy or inappropriate about John Travolta.” Travolta greeted Johansson at Sunday’s Oscars with a kiss and his arm around her waist. The photo has since been turned into an Internet meme, adding to an impression furthered by Travolta’s touching of Idina Menzel’s face while presenting at the Los Angeles ceremony.
“The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome,” said Johansson. “That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live. Yet another way we are misguided, misinformed and sensationalized by the 24-hour news cycle. I haven’t seen John in some years and it is always a pleasure to be greeted by him.”
Johansson and Travolta co-starred in the 2004 drama A Love Song for Bobby Long.
Below, watch the onstage encounter between Menzel and Travolta: