Don Carlo wrote:
Cruise never sits in the audience at the Oscars. He hovers in the Green Room, does his bit onstage, and disappears. Maybe he fears the jokes, or he feels too superior to sit with ordinary actors, and he has no co-starring extraordinary actors to sit with, since he's the big star in all his movies.
I theorize he stays away from the main event to avoid any random 'joking and degrading' that might be directed at him or at $cientology.
Typically, the host for the Oscars is someone who makes their living doing comedy. They have their warm up at the front end of the show but they do little bits of business here and there during the show. The bigger the star the more likely they are to have a joke directed at them. If the host doesn't do it there are plenty of people doing presenting that will. Steve Martin comes to mind. The etiquette of having someone direct a joke at you is you take it with a smile.
If Tom doesn't know any of that someone in his little retinue does. If Tom isn't there it's hard to make a joke about him or $cientology.