Jimmy Kimmel passed up the opportunity to excoriate Donald Trump in his Oscars opening monologue, choosing instead to deliver a 10-minute lecture on social justice causes and Hollywood sexual harassment allegations, calling attention to the omnipresent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Opening by referencing the giant Oscar statute behind the podium, Kimmel suggested that the Academy, after years of rewarding Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanksi, “can’t let bad behavior slide.”
“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,” Kimmel said pointing to the giant, gold, naked man. “And that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town. Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women. We made a movie called ‘What Women Want’ and it starred Mel Gibson. Kind of all you need to know.”
He then quipped that, “If we are successful here, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go.”
Kimmel then referenced the minorities nominated in the major categories, crediting those in the audience with making breakthrough pictures, among them, “Call Me By Your Name,” the story of an older gay man who seduces and “educates” a young boy. With that, Kimmel couldn’t resist a jab at the Vice President.
“He’s the star of a small but powerful story ‘Call Me by Your Name,'” Kimmel said of nominee Armie Hammer. “Only two of the best picture movies made more than $100 million. That’s not the point. We don’t make films for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.”
Left-leaning media called the monologue “biting,” but it was light on comedy. For good measure, Kimmel pleaded with the home audience to take his words and run with them, joining the Parkland students for their March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., or supporting various progressive causes.
He did close the monologue by offering a jet ski to the actor who gave the shortest speech, which set the mood for the rest of the evening.