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Why Jamie Lee Curtis was less than impressed with Golden Globes 'Fiji Water Girl'

The True Lies star has called out the bottled water brand for its viral red-carpet stunt

Jamie Lee Curtis with the 'Fiji Water Girl' at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, in an image distributed for Fiji Water. Getty Images
Jamie Lee Curtis with the 'Fiji Water Girl' at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, in an image distributed for Fiji Water. Getty Images

Forget Gaga, Lupita and Charlize – one of the most photographed women at this year’s Golden Globes was no star of the silver screen. Model Kelleth Cuthbert became one of the red carpet’s most recognisable faces at Sunday’s awards, after covertly infiltrating celebrity portraits as part of a PR stunt that set social media alight.

Hovering behind stars such as Amy Adams, Dakota Fanning and Nicole Kidman, the model held a tray of Fiji Water bottles, resulting in the hashtag #FijiWaterGirl trending online and spawning a sea of memes.

However, the marketing ploy has drawn the ire of Halloween actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who this week called out the bottled water company for using celebrities to promote their product without their consent. After a picture of herself with Cuthbert in the background was drawn to her attention, the Hollywood veteran distanced herself from Fiji Water on her official Instagram account.

“I specifically moved away from the blatant promotions by Fiji and Moet where young women with their trays filled with their wares stood near a designated camera,” the American actress and author said. “I knew why there was a photographer poised there and I moved away as I said out loud that I didn’t want to be doing advertising for either.”

However, despite her actions, an image of the star with Fiji Water bottles in the frame was captured, and distributed via a photo agency on behalf of the company. “The sponsors of events need to get permission from people when they get them to take their picture next to products,” Curtis added, with many of her Instagram followers applauding her sentiment.

Jamie Lee Curtis at the 76th Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019. Photo: EPA
Jamie Lee Curtis at the 76th Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019. EPA

This isn’t the first time a celebrity has found their image used in marketing campaigns without their consent, though Curtis has been the first to speak out on Fiji Water’s stunt. A-list images can often be found scattered across beauty salons (though it remains highly unlikely that Beyonce frequents quite that many hairdressers in and around London) and portraits of stars are frequently seen on sketchy social media adverts.

Cuthbert, a model and actress based in LA, told People shortly after the Golden Globes that she wasn’t trying to upstage celebrities on the night; simply, her instincts took over in front of the cameras. “There [are] tonnes of photographers everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you stand, you’re in the crossfire of every shot," she said.

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Fiji Water also issued a statement as Cuthbert’s appearance was picked up by publications and social media users, saying it was proud to “maintain a presence at high-profile events”.

"As the official water sponsor of the Golden Globes, Fiji Water, along with its Fiji Brand ambassadors, hydrated guests on the red carpet and during the star-studded show,” the company said in a statement, according to Business Insider. "Fiji Water will continue to hydrate more of Hollywood this coming awards season."

Updated: January 10, 2019 03:40 PM

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