T.J. Miller avoids addressing arrest in Critics Choice Awards’ opening monologue

Host T.J. Miller performs onstage during the the 22nd Annual Critics Choice Awards.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

T.J. Miller, the “Silicon Valley” star who made headlines this weekend for allegedly hitting his car service driver, promised via a tweet to “address the elephant in the room” during his hosting gig of the 22nd Critics Choice Awards Sunday night.

But it turns out he didn’t mean being detained for the altercation.


“The election was definitely hacked by the Russians,” he said, to which some in the audience laughed. “But luckily we’re doing an awards show in an airplane hangar in Santa Monica.”

The alleged altercation, which took place at Friday 1 a.m., occurred over remarks made about President-elect Donald Trump, police said. Miller allegedly slapped the driver on the head, and was placed under citizen’s arrest. He was released without having to post bail.

Following the news, the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. announced Saturday that it would not remove the “Office Christmas Party” star as host.

“We can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow on our show,” said BFCA and Broadcast Television Journalists Assn. President Joey Berlin, who’s also executive producer of the awards show.

But Miller did make a number of jabs at the president-elect, not mentioning him by name. In one bit the actor said, “All the jobs he’s going to bring back are going to be automated within two to three years,” which also drew an audible chuckle from the audience of Hollywood’s finest.

He also joked about meeting his wife, actress Kate Gorney, when both were in a production of “A Chorus Line.” (She was on hand at the start of the show to cover up Miller’s painted chest with a tuxedo jacket.) He then broke into an actual chorus line on stage, complete with backup dancers and top hats. The group stayed behind him for the duration of the monologue, imitating all of his hand movements.

Perhaps the only direct statement made by Miller, standing on an actual soapbox no less, was: “We aren’t a nation that is divided. We are a nation that is broken. And anything that is broken can be fixed.”

Luckily, he said, “TV and film can bring us together.”

Then he made a commitment to not being upset on this evening, choosing instead to celebrate the best of TV over the last year and the best in film from the past two days, he joked.

Taking home awards at the top of the night were “Moonlight” for acting ensemble in a film and Courtney B. Vance for his “The People v. O. J. Simpson” role as Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran. Also recognized were Ryan Reynolds with lead actor in a comedy film award for his role as “Deadpool” (he was also the year’s “Entertainer of the Year”), Donald Glover as lead actor in a comedy series for his role in “Atlanta” and Thandie Newton as supporting actress in a drama series for her “Westworld” role.

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