On Oscars night this past weekend, wildly unfunny host Jimmy Kimmel did yet another smug "meet the commoners" skit midway through the show, inviting several celebrities to join him at a nearby movie theater to throw hot dogs and candy at a movie-going audience.
Though Kimmel billed the skit as a "thank you" moment to the people who make celebrities rich, the whole spectacle came off as a smug throwback to the "let them eat cake" days of condescending elitism. If the show's poor ratings provide any indication, Americans did not exactly appreciate what Kimmel — or all of Hollywood — was selling that night. Claire Fallon of HuffPost says enough is enough with the cheap skits:
On the occasion of the 90th Academy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel invited several stars ― including Gal Gadot, Emily Blunt, Lupita Nyong’o, Armie Hammer and Ansel Elgort ― to duck out of the Dolby Theatre and join him in crashing a screening of “A Wrinkle in Time” at a neighboring cinema. They arrived with baskets full of Red Vines and launchers full of hot dogs, ready to shower a crowd of ecstatically grateful proles with snacks and, more crucially, proximity to their celebrité.
The jaunt was framed as a thank you to moviegoers, we heroic consumers without whose ticket-purchasing prowess Gadot and Elgort would be naught but normies themselves. But I don’t watch movies to make Gadot and Elgort happy, or to make them rich, or to enable them to spend four hours feting their craft and perfect cheekbones on national television each year.
As evidenced by the many self-important speeches on Oscar night, Hollywood may very well believe that American movie-goers watch their crap to make them rich. But as Fallon points out, reality is far less forgiving. Simply put, people go to the movies because they want to get something for themselves:
Much like celebrities and other humans, I do things out of self-interest, without any thought as to how I’m serving the rich and famous. A skit that suggests celebrities view us as saintly but pathetic serfs isn’t an act of gratitude ― it’s an act of smug condescension.
The bit, which seemed to go on for days, actually took up at least four and a half minutes of screen time and was certainly less enjoyable to watch than a beaming sound editor experiencing the pinnacle of his Hollywood career.
Kimmel employed this bit twice in a row. Last year he invited out-of-towners from one of those "Star Tours" buses into the show. But he is not the only Oscar host to pull this gimmick. Several years ago, Ellen DeGeneres played the "just like you" card by ordering pizza during the broadcast to make celebrities more relatable with junk food.
Fallon says all that has to go. Let people make their speeches and bring the joy back into the Oscars.