The actor took home Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role of Roman Roy in Succession, which was one of many wins for the hit HBO show that were awarded at the delayed event on Monday (15 January).
During his speech, Culkin raised eyebrows with a divisive comment directed at his wife Jazz Charlton. He said while accepting the trophy: “Thank you for sharing your life with me and giving me two amazing kids... I want more. You said ‘maybe’, if I win! I love you so much.”
When the camera cut to Charlton, she could be seen covering her face with her hands in what appeared to be a mixture of joy and shock.
During a press conference backstage, Culkin was asked about this comment, and explained the reasoning behind his decision to publicly ask his wife for a third child, which he described as “rude” behaviour.
Culkin said that he had “been asking” his wife for another child “for a while” and that, “a couple of months ago”, she sarcastically accepted on the condition he won the Emmy.
“I didn’t bring it up for months and, when I won the [Golden] Globe, I said, ‘Do you remember what you said?’ and she went, ‘No, what? What did I say? I don’t remember this,’” the actor, who won a Golden Globe for Succession on 7 January, said.
He continued: “Then I told her and it all came back to her, so then she spent the whole week being nervous and, instead of talking to her in private like a human. I just blasted her on stage, which was very rude. That’s it, that’s the whole story – the end.”
The actor’s speech divided opinion, with many arguing he should not have put his wife on the spot about a personal matter in such a public setting
Culkin and Charton, who married in 2013, share two children together: Kinsey Sioux and Wilder Wolf.
Also in his speech, Culkin thanked his agent, stating: “I have to thank my manager, Emily Gerson Saines, who I’ve been with for about 29 years. Sorry Emily, you probably didn’t want me to say the number but I did. I just have to thank you for keeping my name in the conversation when nobody else was talking about me, so as far as I’m concerned, this is yours.”
At the Emmy Awards, Sir Elton John became the 19th person in history to achieve an “EGOT”, while Ted Lasso actor Hannah Waddingham was defended by viewers after Laverne Cox pronounced her name incorrectly on the red carpet.