Michelle Yeoh Explains Why She Handed Emma Stone’s Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence

Michelle Yeoh took a moment on Monday to clarify why she handed Emma Stone’s best actress Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence just before Stone accepted the trophy onstage.

At the 2024 Oscars on Sunday, five former best actress Oscar winners took a moment to introduce each of this year’s nominees, with last year’s winner Michelle Yeoh set to hand the trophy to the winner. When Stone’s name was called, though, Yeoh took an extra second to hand the trophy to Jennifer Lawrence, so Lawrence could hand it to Stone.

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“I confused you, but I wanted to share that glorious moment of handing over [your] Oscar to you together with your best friend Jennifer!!” Yeoh wrote on Instagram on Monday. The Everything Everywhere All At Once star went on to explain that Stone and Lawrence’s friendship reminds her of herself and “my Bae Jamie Lee Curtis.” Curtis won best supporting actress last year, also for Everything Everywhere.

Oscar viewers were confused by the moment on Sunday, unclear why Stone hadn’t accepted the award directly from Yeoh, with some asserting that the moment was an example of racism against Yeoh.

Yeoh finished her praise of Stone and Lawrence’s friendship on Monday by writing, “always there for each other!!”

Lawrence won her best actress Oscar in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook. Also onstage to present on Sunday were Sally Field (1980’s Norma Rae and 1985’s Places in the Heart), Charlize Theron (2004’s Monster) and Jessica Lange (1995’s Blue Sky, and for best supporting actress in 1983’s Tootsie).

Stone beat Annette Bening (Nyad), Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall) and Carey Mulligan (Maestro) for the trophy on Sunday. It is her second Oscar, following a win for her performance in La La Land in 2017. Previously, she has also been nominated for The Favourite in 2019 and Birdman in 2015.

She acknowledged all of her fellow nominees in her acceptance speech, but took an extra moment to address Gladstone, whom many had expected to win. “I share this with you,” she said to Gladstone. “I am in awe of you. And it’s been such an honor to do all this together; I hope we get to do more together.”

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