Zendaya upsets fans by ‘rejecting’ nervous Paul Mescal at Screen Actors Guild Awards
Zendaya has upset fans of Normal People actor Paul Mescal after she seemingly rejected his “gentlemanly gesture" during the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night.
The Euphoria actress, 26, appeared to swerve Mescal’s offer of an arm as they made their way up the stage to co-present the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor award.
Viewers took to social media to point out the moment the Spider-Man actress appeared to pull away from the Irish star, 27, as he put his arm out to help her up the steps to the stage.
Showing she was in no need of assistance or an escort, Zendaya declined the help and strided up the steps and onto the stage slightly ahead of Mescal.
After the awkward exchange, Oscar-nominee Mescal’s nerves seemed to get the better of him as he fumbled over his words as the pair read from a teleprompter.
“Paul Mescal trying to help Zendaya up the stairs and she said nah," one viewer tweeted.
“Paul Mescal is such a gentleman. I know Zendaya didn’t mean it in a bad way, but she should have just taken his arm. She’s used to this while Paul is so new to everything. You can tell he’s sooooo nervous," another wrote.
Others didn’t mince their words.
One fumed: “OMG Zendaya is so rude!!!!! Take Paul’s arm when he’s offering it to you."
Another wrote: “Not Zendaya swerving Paul Mescal’s hand."
A fourth tweeted: “Zendaya is a meanie. TAKE HIS ARM."
But some did come to the actresses’ defence.
One fan tweeted: “What is wrong with people? It’s 2023, not all women require men to help. She can walk on her own. Good on her not taking his hand!"
Another echoed the sentiment: “Zendaya doesn’t need to be ‘saved’ by some random dude. She’s a superhero — have y’all not watched Spider-Man?"
A third said: “I didn’t see Zendaya suggest she needed help. Bless him, but the assumption that women are automatically damsels in distress is annoying."
Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) 2023
Zendaya was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role in Euphoria, but lost out to The White Lotus’ Jennifer Coolidge.
Mescal, didn’t receive a SAG nod, but was nominated for Best Actor at the Baftas and the upcoming Oscars for Aftersun.