John Travolta Explained What Happened During His VMAs Mix-Up
“I thought it was so funny the way it was interpreted.”
The internet had a field day during the MTV VMAs when it appeared as though John Travolta mistakenly offered up Taylor Swift’s Video of the Year award to Jade Jolie, a Swift impersonator and drag queen who appeared in the singer’s star-studded “You Need to Calm Down” video. The memes were flying, the reaction gifs were abundant, and rest assured: there were plenty of “Adele Dazeem” references to be found. Now, the actor is speaking out about the viral moment — and he’s choosing to laugh it off.
During a radio appearance on Hot 93.3, Travolta explained: “There's so many people that bombarded the stage, that I was looking for [Swift]. So the video has me trying to find her, and you know, I thought it was so funny the way it was interpreted, and it was cool, I didn’t care.” The actor added that he knew Jolie wasn’t the real Taylor Swift, but what if he had actually given her the award instead? “Sometimes I fantasize what if I had given it to [Jolie]?” he quipped. “That would have been awesome.”
For Travolta, having a sense of humor about things like this is the only answer — especially given how big of a celebrity he is. “If I shave my head it’s headlines,” he said. “If I mispronounce something, that’s headlines, and I know that about me.”
Travolta apparently wasn’t the only one who found the exchange funny; according to Swift’s BFF Todrick Hall (who also co-executive produced the “YNTCD” video), the singer-songwriter had a good laugh. “He was so confident that it was her,” Hall said on the Jerry O show, per Entertainment Tonight. “I loved it, I saw it and we talked about it backstage. Taylor thought it was hilarious.”
Jolie was just as tickled as Hall and Swift; in a video posted to Instagram, she joked: “Almost got my first award tonight thanks to @johntravolta.”
To be fair, Jolie looks an awful lot like Swift — and in the midst of a high-pressure moment, it’s pretty understandable to make that mistake! As Hall himself put it: “Everybody knows that [Jolie] is the Taylor Swift doppelgänger, so I think that was the highest compliment he could pay her.” And that's that on that!