TV host Jimmy Kimmel has come under fire for “harassing” Taliban shooting survivor Malala Yousafzai at Sunday night’s Oscars.
During a segment of the show, Kimmel had approached the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was seated in the audience.
The 55-year-old grilled the activist on how she felt about the infamous Harry Styles and Chris Pine “spit-gate” drama. Reading out a question from a fan named Joanne, he said: “She asked, your work on human rights and education for women and children is an inspiration.
“As the youngest Nobel prize winner in history, do you think Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?”
A visibly bemused and uncomfortable Yousafzai responded: “I only talk about peace.”
Kimmel replied: “You know what, that’s why you’re Malala and nobody else is. That’s a great answer, Malala. “The winner is malala-land, everybody.”
To add to the awkwardness, an attendee dressed as a real-life Cocaine Bear from the film crawled down the aisle and began to pester Yousafzai.
Kimmel playfully shouted: “Cocaine bear, leave Malala alone!” Viewers took to Twitter to slam Kimmel for his “disgraceful” antics.
One wrote: “This was disgraceful behaviour for Kimmel. Why did he think that this Malala ‘joke’ was a good idea?”
Another said: “I love @jimmykimmel but his interaction with Malala was one of the worst and most painful things I’ve seen on TV in so many years.”
Malala herself tweeted: “Treat people with kindness” in response to the video.