Reports surfaced over the weekend after Carey made mention of Witherspoon after Aniston's speech, leading many to believe she had confused the women.
UPDATE 10/13/19 at 9:07am PT: Mariah Carey has vehemently denied claims she mixed up Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, calling reports "idiotic." In a tweet Sunday afternoon, Carey clarified that when she mentioned Reese Witherspoon after Jennifer Aniston spoke at the Power of Women luncheon on Friday, she was referring to a speech Witherspoon gave five years ago at the same event.
That's idiotic. Daily Mail, Mirror, Metro, Buzzfeed. YOU'RE mistaken & didn't do research. Trust me, I know the difference. I KNOW them. If this is your takeaway from an event that celebrates women, shame on you! I was referring to Reese's speech below. https://t.co/HBJGh5O1ls https://t.co/BbgSeEpgp7
She doesn't know them. Or at least, she wasn't sure which one she was talking about.
Mariah Carey was clearly flustered by problems with the teleprompter during her speech at the Power of Women luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, so much so that she got Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon mixed up momentarily.
Luckily for Mariah, she said she "predicted" the issue with the prompter, bringing notes with her onstage. But they didn't help her to differentiate between the two actresses when she said, "This is why I have cue cards because I was watching Reese Witherspoon doing her speech--" she began, per The Daily Mail, only it wasn't.
She had been watching fellow nominee Jennifer Aniston give her speech. The other honorees did not include Witherspoon, either, but rather Awkwafina, Chaka Khan, Brie Larson and Dana Walden.
After that minor hiccup, though, Carey proved she was otherwise fully prepared, delivering a powerful speech after an adorable introduction by young "Mixed-ish" star Mykal-Michelle Harris. The seven year old credited Carey with knocking "open the doors to the entertainment industry for girls who look like me." Carey wrote and performed the theme song for the latest spinoff of ABC's hit comedy "black-ish."
In her speech, Carey talked about the challenges of being a young girl when she first stepped into the enteratinment industry. "A lot of very powerful men controlled my career," she said. "What I wore, who I worked with, and every aspect of my overall image."
"Believe me, that can be very intimidating and confining to a young girl just getting started, trying to express herself artistically," she continued. "It took a lot of hard work, inner strength and believing in myself, but slowly I gained the courage to emerge from that stifling control by a group of men."
"We love men, but you know, they could never understand or embrace the essence of who I truly am."
The teleprompter issue plagued the proceedings throughout the lunch, leaving both the honorees and the women introducing them scrambling for what to do. Variety noted that Awkwafina freestyled momentarily and considered just going off the cuff for hers before a friend came through with a smartphone that had a copy of her prepared comments.
Still, all of the women managed to make powerful and moving speeches about the challenges they've faced, the strides they've made and the work yet to be done on behalf of women in Hollywood. It was a moving and emotional afternoon filled with laughter, tears and a strong sense of progress and drive to continue the good fight.