Lauren Zima is a seasoned entertainment reporter, but she was at a loss for words when she stopped comedian Tiffany Haddish on the red carpet at the 2022 Oscars.
Zima, who has been engaged to former “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison since October 2021, was put in her place by the “Girls Trip” star within seconds of the interview starting.
It all started when Zima noted that Haddish had changed from a custom emerald green gown to a sequin-covered bright green dress for the after-parties.
Here’s what you need to know:
Comedian Tiffany Haddish Turned the Tables on Lauren Zima at the Oscars
Haddish presented the award for Best Foreign Film while wearing the first dress.
“I am in Italian from head to toe,” Haddish told Entertainment Tonight of her ensemble. “Hopefully later on I will get some Italian in me — and I mean spaghetti.”
But when she was interviewed by Zima on the red carpet later in the evening, her bright green dress took the reporter by surprise. “Did you do a little costume change?” Zima asked.
“I’m not wearing a costume, I’m wearing Dolce & Gabbana. It’s called an evening gown, darling,” Haddish curtly replied, as Zima pretended to fall to the ground in humiliation.
“No one’s paying me. I paid for this,” Haddish continued. “This is custom. Thank you.”
“Time of death for me right now,” Zima said.
“This is not an acting gig, this is my life,” Haddish informed her. “This what fame look like. This what success look like. This what money look like. This what it look like.”
Haddish then called out Zima for not wearing shoes during the interview and told her that while her feet were also uncomfortable, at least she looked good.
Things only got worse when Zima turned the conversation to Haddish’s friend, Will Smith, who caused a ruckus during the Oscars telecast when he walked onstage and slapped Chris Rock for cracking a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Haddish revealed her support for Smith for standing up for his wife, then turned the tables on Zima, and asked her what she thought of Smith’s reaction to Rock’s joke. Every time Zima tried to ask her another question, Haddish asked her a question back and pretty much controlled the rest of the interview.
On social media, fans reacted to the awkward exchange. Some said they were uncomfortable watching the interview.
“I couldn’t watch for more than 15 seconds due to second-hand embarrassment,” one Reddit commenter wrote.
“Lauren Zima tried it. Tiffany Haddish gathered her, as she should,” another wrote.
Others noted that Zima should have stopped asking questions about Smith.
”Tiffany Haddish ate Lauren Zima right on up … Lauren even tried to gain control of the interview but Tip kept right on going,” another tweeted.
“The way Tiff just gathered up Lauren and put her in her little place…” a Reddit user wrote. “I think she had flashbacks of what happened to [Chris Harrison] and got herself together real quick because one of them needs to stay gainfully employed!”
Lauren Zima Spoke Out After Chris Harrison’s Disastrous 2021 Interview With Rachel Lindsay
Zima’s fiancé also has some experience with bad interviews. In February 2021, Harrison was in hot water following an explosive interview with Rachel Lindsay during which the longtime ABC host defended ”Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past attendance at a racist college party, and he referred to her critics as the “woke police.”
Harrison was hit with major backlash for the interview, and Zima released a statement to distance herself from his words.
“What Chris said was wrong and disappointing,” Zima wrote on Instagram at the time, per Us Weekly. “Defending racism can never happen. Accountability comes first, what’s next is learning and growth.”
In June 2021, Harrison announced his departure from “The Bachelor” franchise after nearly 20 years.