By now the clip of Common’s awkward passing over of Oprah Winfrey’s high-five at last Sunday’s 87th annual Academy Awards has been seen across the world millions of time.
In case you missed it, in the excitement of the moments after he and John Legend’s big win for Best Original Song for “Glory” from the film Selma, Common was approaching the stage to accept the award and was being greeted and congratulated by a sea of people, including Oprah. Cameras caught the awkward exchange as Common appeared to ignore Oprah’s high-five and instead walked past her to greet the film’s lead actor, David Oyelowo. The moment became an instant hilarious meme across social media.
Appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Common made sure to clear the air about the incident:
“You’re just so in the moment that I saw David Oyelowo first and I was going to him. I was wondering if Oprah was really facing John [Legend] — I didn’t know if that high-five was for me or for John so I just went safe. I made sure I talked to her the next day. We talked the next day and it was like, ‘You know I wasn’t trying to play you out, right?’ Never leave Oprah hanging,” he said.
During the interview Common also touched on a conversation he had with Jay Z shortly after taking home the Oscar..
“I actually saw him out at some of the parties,” Common said. “He just was really proud. He said something to me that really touched me because he was like — he felt that I represented all of us; people from hip-hop, as Black men, as people of love [and] children of God he felt that John and I were representing that with this Academy Award.”