A rediscovered 1998 interview from the Late Show brought attention to an uncomfortable moment involving David Letterman and actress Jennifer Aniston. This resurgence of old interviews, in light of The New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, which delves into the media's treatment of celebrities, prompted a reexamination of the conduct of media personalities in the past. In this particular episode, Letterman engaged in an on-air interaction with Jennifer Aniston that took an unexpected and awkward turn.
Initially, the conversation between Letterman and Aniston appeared to be friendly, albeit marked by Letterman's inquiry into whether the Friends star, then around 29 years old, was "naked" during her story about encountering fans in a steam room. However, things turned more awkward when Letterman attempted something weird.
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While interacting with David Letterman, the atmosphere of the show shifted dramatically when Letterman interrupted the flow of the conversation, uttering, "Forgive me if this is rude. I just want to try one thing." Following this he proceeded to maneuver his chair behind Jennifer Aniston, placing his hand on her shoulder, and attempted to awkwardly ingest a strand of her hair.
Aniston's surprised reaction was evident as she audibly squealed and questioned Letterman's actions. Ignoring her inquiry, Letterman continued to suck on the strand of hair until it fell from his mouth. He then handed Aniston a napkin to dry her hair, attempting to alleviate the awkwardness of the situation by jesting that they would edit out the peculiar moment. Aniston responded, "That was something that I'll never forget."
Following the uncomfortable incident, Aniston appeared visibly shaken, prompting Letterman to comment that she seemed "traumatized." Aniston candidly responded, "I am." And unsurprisingly, the resurfaced interview garnered significant attention on social media, with viewers expressing a range of reactions.
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While sharing their views on Twitter (now X), some viewers seemed puzzled by the unexpected nature of the hair-sucking incident, while others criticized it as an invasive and unsettling intrusion into Aniston's personal space.
The resurfaced video prompted them to discuss the dynamics that have characterized celebrity interviews and interactions in the past, leading to discussions about the treatment of individuals in the public eye and the evolving standards of media conduct.
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Jennifer Aniston's appearance on the Late Show in 1998 was not her last interaction with the late-night host. The actress returned for multiple interviews on the show in the years that followed.