Tom Hiddleston is oft referred to as charmingly awkward, but his Golden Globes acceptance speech on Sunday night veered into seriously cringe-worthy territory.
Now the British actor, who won Best Actor – Mini-Series or TV Movie for his role in The Night Manager, has taken to Facebook to address criticism after his “tone deaf” speech.
During the speech, he said that Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) doctors and nurses in South Sudan had binge-watched the program, saying “And the idea that I could provide ― or that we could provide ― some relief and entertainment for the people who worked for UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Food Program, who are fixing the world in the places where it is broken, made me immensely proud.”
The internet was less proud however, with Twitter users drawing attention to the fact that audience members like Christian Slater seemed to barely be able to contain their eyeball rolls over what could be interpreted as a humblebrag at best and at worst an articulation of white saviour rhetoric of the “look at the good I do” variety.
TOM HIDDLESTON: Listen to my speech about Sudan
HIDDLESTON: …and how it proves my TV show was good.
AUDIENCE: Oh no.
— Freddie Campion (@FreddieCampion) January 9, 2017
Presumably very shook by the criticism befalling him, Hiddleston took to Facebook on Monday to clear the air, apologising for the fact that “my nerves got the better of me,” and saying “… my words just came out wrong. Sincerely, my only intention was to salute the incredible bravery and courage of the men and women who work so tirelessly for UNICEF UK, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and World Food Programme, and the children of South Sudan, who continue to find hope and joy in the most difficult conditions.”
His fans responded encouragingly for the most part, posting comments like “I understand what you were trying to say. The internet blows everything out of proportion,” and “You are at least using your platform to bring attention to worthy causes and to a dire situation. It’s important to use your public voice for good.”
To his credit, Hiddleston uses his accounts on social platforms like Facebook to often raise awareness for the work of those organisations, especially UNICEF, championing children’s rights in countries experiencing conflict.
Guess he’s just really crap at speeches then?