During Elle's Women in Hollywood Celebration in Los Angeles in October 2022, Mindy Kaling applauded her co-star Hathaway on how she kept her composure during a very uncomfortable 2012 interview with then-Today show host Matt Lauer.
“From the age of 18 years old [Hathaway] has been objectified regularly, and despite loving her as a performer I'll tell you when I fell in love with her," Kaling told the audience of Hathaway during her speech at the event.
Kaling costarred with Hathaway in 2018’s Ocean's 8, referenced the 2012 world premiere of Les Miserables. During the event, a photographer had “positioned his camera low so he could take a photo up her skirt” and that moment was rehashed at by then-Today show host Matt Lauer.
“On the Today show the next morning, Matt Lauer said to her in this chastising, someone-has-been-naughty way, 'Anne Hathaway I've seen a lot of you lately’,” Kaling said. “First of all, gross. Are you like a lame uncle at Thanksgiving?”
“And then he asked her what's the lesson learned from something like that, referring to paparazzi ambushing her — as if she was the one who had done something wrong,” she continued.
“Annie simply responded, ‘It kind of made me sad on two accounts’,” Kaling added.
“One that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of someone in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. And I'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants.”
During the interview Hathaway expertly switched the conversation back to the movie they were promoting.
According to People, the interview took place over four years before Lauer was ousted from the Today show in November 2017, when NBC revealed that the former anchor was fired due to a complaint of "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace."
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