Harry Styles had a perfectly glib response to #spitgate

After days of jokes and memes, the alleged spitter himself joined in on the fun.

British singer-songwriter and actor Harry Styles at the 79 Venice International Film Festival 2022. ...
Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

No film has been bogged down by its media rollout like Don’t Worry Darling was by the time it premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past week. As the film itself has gotten middling reviews, the drama surrounding has been spectacular: a string of hot goss, dank memes, and one major celebrity potentially spitting on another in a crowded room. At this point, it only makes sense for the stars to embrace the chaos themselves.

The film’s co-star Harry Styles joined the fun on Wednesday night, at his at one of his Harry’s House concerts at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine,” he quipped, as the crowd roared. His comments were a response to a video of a fleeting moment that had the Internet in a days-long frenzy: the cast of Don’t Worry Darling attended a premiere for the film in Venice, and as Styles sat down by co-star Chris Pine, he appeared to spit in Pine’s lap, with Pine reacting in exasperation.

In a statement to Variety, a rep for Pine insisted that the actor was not spat on. “This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation,” the rep said. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”

But spitgate was only the latest element in a cacophony of drama surrounding Don’t Worry Darling. It started as early as April, when director Olivia Wilde was served legal papers from her ex-husband Jason Sudeikis while on stage in April to introduce the film’s trailer at CinemaCon. But she also started a romantic relationship with Harry Styles, and appeared to be caught in a lie when discussing Shia LeBeouf’s exit from the project. Viewers have also wondered if the whole situation has led co-star Florence Pugh to shirk press duties around the film: she skipped a press conference for the film altogether in Venice, posting an Instagram video with a cheeky smile and an Aperol spritz in her hand before heading to the premiere that night. Chris Pine, meanwhile, has appeared checked out altogether.

The attention around Don’t Worry Darling has been full of viral moments and steady buzz, more than what any press run could ever plan to secure. The only question that remains, though, is if audiences will be as pumped for the movie as they’ve been for the behind-the-scenes controversy.