Tems Cheekily Responds to Critics of Her View-Blocking Couture Gown at 2023 Oscars

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Tems caused quite a stir with her billowing white gown at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday. The co-writer of Rihanna's Oscar-nominated single, "Lift Me Up," wowed the red carpet in a show-stopping Lever Couture gown with a delicate tulle fabric headpiece woven into a head-to-toe asymmetrical silhouette.

While the Oscar nominee -- whose full name is Temilade Openiyi -- was an instant entry for the night's best-dressed list, Twitter users were widely divided when it came to the headpiece's presence inside the venue, where it obstructed the views of some of the guests seated behind her.

Tems at 2023 Oscars
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Tems at 2023 Oscars

Although no one who was actually seated behind Tems said anything about their blocked view, ABC's broadcast showed her several times throughout the night. Those seated around her, including her co-manager, Tec, were seen craning their necks to see around the gown's headpiece.

On Monday night, the GRAMMY winner responded to the drama on Twitter, sharing four photos of her in the now-infamous gown, and cheekily writing, "Oops." 

During Sunday night's ceremony, Twitter users both famous and otherwise, took to the platform to share their jokes, memes and divided opinions on Tems' dress, although no one could deny that the white gown did its job and "stole the show."

And as one Twitter user aptly put it, "How can Tems block the view when she is the view."

Tems earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) alongside Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ballad. "Lift Me Up" serves as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who played King T'Challa, aka Black Panther, and died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. 

The single ultimately lost to NTR and Ram Charan's "Naatu Naatu" from the feature film RRR.

Rihanna took to the stage during Sunday's show, and gave viewers a show-stopping rendition of the emotional single. Wearing a gorgeous, shimmering shirt-and-trouser pants set, the singer left the Oscars audience in awe as she belted out the ballad, hitting every high note with power and grace. Standing on a feathered platform, Rihanna looked emotional as she was met with a standing ovation. 

At the end of her performance, the camera panned to Rihanna's partner and the father of her son and baby-on-the-way, A$AP Rocky, who appeared to be filled with pride as he cheered her on. Rocky also was celebrating Hollywood's biggest night with a glass of champagne in his hand. 

"I feel deep gratitude to have collaborated with Rihanna, Tems and Ryan Coogler on a song as profoundly personal as 'Lift Me Up.'  For it to be recognized by the Academy is a huge honor," Göransson said in a statement. "'Lift Me Up' is a song that holds great meaning to us as it was written as a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of our friend, the late Chadwick Boseman, and his influence on this film. It felt cathartic and healing to write this song. We could not be more proud of this musical tribute and the unique collaboration that brought it to life."

"My deepest thanks go to Ryan Coogler, a true visionary and great friend, who created one of the most unique films of our time," the composer added.

"It was an honor to work with these incredible musicians in crafting a song for our film and for our friend. It was meant to be a tribute to love and the specter of loss, and I couldn’t be happier that it is being recognized," Coogler said in a statement. "Immense congratulations to Angela and our creative teams on their nominations. The story of Wakanda is built in front of and behind the camera, and I couldn’t be more honored to work with these incredible artists. The Academy’s acknowledgement of their work is greatly deserved."


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