A Fiji Water brand ambassador became an online sensation at the Golden Globes on Sunday after repeatedly sneaking into the background of photos as Hollywood royalty showed off their awards attire.
But not everyone saw the funny side.
Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis made her feelings known on Twitter, claiming she “didn’t want to be doing advertising” for brands handing out freebies.
“So, I specifically moved away from the blatant Fiji & Moet promotions. I knew there was a photographer poised & I moved as I didn’t want to be doing advertising for either. The sponsors of events need to get permission from people before they try 2 take their picture with them.”
Other celebs, such as Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart, had a more positive reaction.
“Fiji Water starting off the year right with the best publicity stunt ever pulled,” Reinhart wrote on Twitter, alongside a picture of her on the red carpet with the ubiquitous water carrier behind her.
After hours of speculation, Fiji Water Girl, whose name is Kelleth Cuthbert, revealed her identity on Instagram, writing: “Not the worst way to spend a Sunday… #goldenglobesfijigirl #fijiwatergirl.”
The Canadian-born model was hailed as the first meme of the awards season for her gutsy self-promotion, trending on social media as viewers applauded her ambition.
Cuthbert has not let the opportunity pass her by in the days following her five minutes of fame, giving a number of media interviews and appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Entertainment News website E! News even gave Ms. Cuthbert her own awards ceremony in a video posted to Instagram.
Among the celebrities she thanked were Bodyguard and Game Of Thrones actor Richard Madden “for giving me my start,” as well as Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans “for allowing me the space to have my best angle.”
A spokesperson for Fiji Water said in a statement:
“The award for Best Supporting Actress in (literally) Every Picture goes to FIJI Water Girl!”
The internet, however, was divided over Jamie Lee Curtis’ stance.
Although I laughed at the Fijigirl photo-bombs, JLC has a valid point. Using celebs without their consent is wrong.
— Robin Zornes (@robinzornes) January 9, 2019
I don’t think anyone saw a picture of a celeb and the water girl behind them & thought “wow that celeb must drink Fiji water if some random chick holding a tray is in the same picture!”
— sashy ???????? (@sashy311) January 9, 2019
They used the celebs for free publicity and it's not cool.
— BURGANDYWILLIAMS (@BURGANDYWILL) January 9, 2019
A long line of people promoting insanely expensive clothes & jewelry, but the #FIJIwatergirl was exploiting the situation. ????
— Brandi ???????????????????? (@EmilyroseRob) January 9, 2019
I agree with her… it was a pretty clever idea by Fiji, but a bit intrusive with the people pictured with the Fiji girl.
— Karena Lozano (@kariloz77) January 9, 2019
oooo please JLC let the girl shine big deal.. over a picture and some water pic.twitter.com/MimFUcYrc5
— shorty (@shortyluv1435) January 9, 2019
I think that's fair. She's not a sponsor of the brand, why should they use her (or other actors who are also not sponsoring the brand) to promote their products.
— Rosalyn (@RossyD84) January 9, 2019
But, for the most part, people can’t get enough of the Fiji Water Girl.
— Kris Cruz (@realKrisCruz) January 7, 2019
#fijiwatergirl she wasn't there to fuck around. there is literally not one picture that she isn't in.
— bohemian rhapTITTY (@Yuppersssss) January 7, 2019
— Alice Chase (@6Chases) January 7, 2019
— grim talent (@TalentGrim) January 7, 2019
— Sarah Fraser (@heyfrase) January 7, 2019
— Filipe Enn (@naigulevu_fi) January 7, 2019
— samifish (@samifish1) January 7, 2019
— Millie Norman (@EmiliaFNorman) January 7, 2019
One thing is clear, however: Lady Gaga isn’t the only star who was born this awards season.