Awards shows are, historically, a ripe backdrop for weird and wonderful celebrity incidents.
The 1997 MTV Movie Awards were an astonishing snapshot of the late 1990s. The ceremony featured Mike Myers as host, performances by Jewel and Bush and a gong handed to Tom Cruise for his role in Jerry Maguire.
Carrey, then aged 35, was sweeping the awards for his hit comedy film The Cable Guy. One of his three wins, however, was overshadowed by a single on-stage act he decided to improvise.
Watch the video above.
The Mask actor’s name had been called as the winner of Best Villain and Carrey took the opportunity for a little performance art.
Clueless star Silverstone, then 20, was presenting the award and when Carrey accepted it, he planted a huge surprise kiss on his fellow actor.
Silverstone appeared to brush off the seemingly consensual kiss, but the cameras caught a brief look of shock that flickered across her face.
Carrey immediately launched into a comedic routine for his acceptance speech, telling the crowd: “I don’t mean to cause any waves, but this popcorn is stale” – referring to the iconic MTV trophy shaped like a popcorn box.
But Silverstone wasn’t the only target of Carrey’s amorous behaviour. Later during the show, he attempted to grab Will Smith and pull him in for a kiss as he made his way to the stage to accept the Best Kiss award.
While the actress has never publicly addressed the 1997 kiss, some reports have claimed over the years that Silverstone was “embarrassed” and “humiliated” by the stunt. Carrey is believed to have apologised to Silverstone backstage.
Other reports at the time speculated the incident was actually pre-planned.
Despite the claims Silverstone was unhappy about Carrey’s act, a photo of the pair after the awards show posing amicably may throw cold water on this theory.
Either way, it took 25 years for Carrey to face backlash for the 1997 kiss. And all it took was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
Carrey had reacted to the slap heard around the world and criticised Smith for taking the shine away from other Oscar winners.
“I was sickened,” Carrey told CBS’ Gayle King. “I was sickened by the standing ovation. Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we aren’t the cool club anymore.”
Social media had a feed frenzy, with old clips of his 1997 kiss with Silverstone resurfacing on apps such as Twitter and TikTok.
Fans weren’t happy with Carrey weighing in on the situation, which some labelling him “hypocritic”.
One incensed person tweeted at the time: “Jim Carrey says Will Smith ‘should have been’ arrested for hitting Chris Rock How about when Jim Carrey forcibly kissed Alicia Silverstone when he was going up on stage to accept an award?”
Another wrote: “Imagine being Jim Carrey sickened by a slap while also being the same Jim Carrey who forcefully kissed Alicia Silverstone.”
Carrey has never broken his silence on the kiss with Silverstone and did not comment on the resurfaced footage in 2022.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here