Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel got a chance once again to stand on Hollywood’s biggest stage on Sunday, a precarious position for the former “Man Show” host in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp. Despite expectations that the show would try to avoid yet another politically divisive spectacle, Kimmel did what Middle America has come to expect from celebrity awards show hosts: deliver a partisan, sanctimonious lecture that often sacrificed entertainment to push divisive politics. Below are the top five most political moments from Kimmel’s performance.
5. Kimmel Says People Who Watch Fox News Are Dying
After a quick, mostly unfunny reference to Envelopegate, Kimmel threw in a cheap joke about Fox News’ audience supposedly being on the verge of extinction, despite the network consistently outpacing its cable news competitors.
“Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he’s probably at home right now watching Fox News,” said Kimmel.
Kimmel went on to praise Oscar for being penis-less, an actually funny reference to the “Time’s Up” movement. “Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood,” said Kimmel. “And there’s a very good reason why. Just look at him. Keeps his hands where you can see them. Never says a rude word and most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations. And that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town.”
4. Kimmel Ditches Comedy For Time’s Up Lecture
Though his “statue of limitations” lead-in was promising, Kimmel quickly ditched any semblance of comedy to provide a mini-lecture on #MeToo and inclusivity. A few excerpts:
We can’t let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example and the truth is if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go.
Over the course of this evening, I hope you will listen to many brave and outspoken supporters of movements like “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” and “Never Again,” because what they’re doing is important. …
Only 11 percent of movies are directed by women. And that is nuts. We still have a very long way to go in that department, and a very long way to go when it comes to equal pay. Especially when you look at what happened with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. We all know the story. Mark Wahlberg was paid a million-and-a-half dollars to reshoot his scenes while Michelle Williams for her reshoots got a per diem. She was paid 80 dollars a day for the same thing.
3. Kimmel Urges Winners To Promote Gun Control
Like most of his peers, Kimmel has been extremely vocal after the horrific Parkland shooting in calling for increased gun control and he made sure in his opening monologue to work in a call to action.
“O.K., before we start handing out the awards, some history, because we’re going to do things a little bit differently,” he said. “The first Oscar ceremony lasted, and this is true, 15 minutes, from beginning to end. And people still complained. But — so, if you do win an Oscar tonight, we want you to give a speech. We want you to say whatever you feel needs to be said. Speak from the heart. We want passion. You have an opportunity and a platform to remind millions of people about important things like equal rights and equal treatment. If you want to encourage others to join the amazing students at Parkland at their march on the 24th, do that.”
Sensing he’d pushed it a bit far, Kimmel followed up the call to disarm by giving winners permission not to lecture the world on the hot button issues of the day. “If you want to thank a favorite teacher, do that. Or maybe you just want to thank your parents and tell your kids to go to sleep. What you say is entirely up to you. You don’t have to change the world,” he said.
2. Kimmel Mocks Pence’s Conservative Christianity
Kimmel made sure to praise critics’ darling “Call Me By Your Name,” which features a man in his mid-20s having a sexual affair with a teenage boy. In his remarks, Kimmel mocked complaints about the youth of the teen character, then worked in a jab at Mike Pence for his conservative Christian views.
“Are you having fun, Timothée?” Kimmel asked the young star. “This is a big deal. He’s missing ‘Paw Patrol’ to be here tonight. Don’t worry, Ryder and his team of pups saved the day, so. Timothée is the star of a small but powerful story called ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ which did not make a lot of money. In fact, of the nine best picture nominees, only two of them made more than $100 million. That’s not the point. We don’t make films like ‘Call Me by Your Name’ for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence. Right?”
As The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro highlights, no truer admission was delivered all night.
1. Kimmel Suggests Trump Wants To See Black People Enslaved
Over the course of the night, Kimmel took a few jabs at the White House, including his comments about Pence and his declaration that there’s no “hope” in the administration. “Where there is light, there is always hope. Except at the White House. Hope quit on Wednesday,” he said in reference to Hope Hicks parting ways with the administration.
But his most vitriolic comment came in reference to “Get Out,” which focuses around a black man’s desperate and ultimately successful attempt to escape being effectively enslaved by a white family. Trump, suggested Kimmel, didn’t like the ending.
“In the meantime, triple congratulations are in order for the kid from Comedy Central, Jordan Peele, who had a huge success with his movie, ‘Get Out,” said Kimmel. “Jordan is only the third person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing and best picture for his debut film. And what — what a debut it was. None other than President Trump called “Get Out” the best first three-quarters of a movie this year.”
Partial transcript via New York Times.