01/24/2006 AT 9:00 AM ET
Isaac Mizrahi has been given a golden ticket to continue his questionable red-carpet behavior at the Academy Awards, despite criticism of his antics for E! on the night of the Golden Globes – in which he quizzed Eva Longoria on her pubic hair, groped Scarlett Johansson’s breast and peered down Teri Hatcher’s dress.
“I’ve hired Isaac because I felt the red carpet work on television, not just on E!, had become predictable, staid and frankly boring. What I wanted is someone who would bring surprise,” the network’s president and CEO, Ted Harbert, tells the Associated Press.
But despite Harbert’s defense of Mizrahi, the Academy is not so willing to welcome the outrageous designer on its red carpet on Oscar night March 5.
“I have no idea what plans E! has on Oscar night. If they’re suggesting they would do something similar on our red carpet, we would have some good discussions with them,” said academy spokesman John Pavlik. “I can predict we would be extraordinarily angry if that happened on our carpet. I cannot predict what we would do afterwards.”
For the record, Mizrahi, 44, tugged on Hatcher’s bronze halter to look for a hidden speech. “Come on, you’ve got to have the speech somewhere,” he said, prompting Hatcher to respond: “Oh my God, he touched my stomach and then he pulled down my dress!”
Earlier, he asked fellowDesperate Housewives star Longoria what her “hair was like down there. … Is it bikini? Your body hair? Was it done tonight?”
Fascinated by Johansson’s skintight red Valentino dress, Mizrahi squeezed her breast – twice. “What’s going on!” she demanded.
To Keira Knightley, he chirped: “You had carbs (today), darling? That’s a no-no in Hollywood. It’s like a (breach of) security.” To Jessica Alba: “Are you wearing underwear?”
Mizrahi’s remark to Charlize Theron about her Oscar-winning role as a “scary dyke with bad teeth” in 2004’s Monster elicited a formal complaint from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation – prompting the statement from Harbert afterwards that “E! Networks does not generally condone the use of that word, (but) we are totally confidant that Isaac is the last person on Earth who could be accused of even the slightest degree of homophobia.”
Mizrahi, who is openly gay, has not responded formally to any of the static about his appearance.