As expected, Jimmy Kimmel got political in his opening monologue at the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night. The host, who teased some of his Weinstein material on Jimmy Kimmel Live when nominations were first announced, did not shy away from the multiple elephants in the room and in the culture at large, and encouraged the night’s winners to join him in addressing them too—so long as they did it quickly.
Kimmel made some obvious jokes at the expense of Harvey Weinstein, but also of Mel Gibson, Mike Pence, Mark Wahlberg, and men in general. (The one thing that might have been better than a male host making fun of men? A woman host.) “This was the year women got so sick of men they started fucking fish,” Kimmel said of The Shape of Water, nominated for 13 different awards. Call Me By Your Name, on the other hand, was a chance to bring up the homophobic vice president. “We don’t make films like Call Me By Your Name for money,” he joked. “We make them to upset Mike Pence.”
There were also digs at Michelle Williams’ agents for the All the Money in the World reshoot pay discrepancy, major studios that for many years didn’t believe a superhero movie led by a woman or person of color could make bank, and the PwC accountants who caused last year’s Best Picture envelope travesty. Kimmel also brought up gun control, encouraging his audience to join the Parkland teens’ March For Our Lives.
“Over the course of this evening I hope you will listen to many brave and outspoken supporters of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp and #NeverAgain because what they’re doing is important,” said Kimmel. “Things are changing for the better, they are making sure of that.”
But although Kimmel wanted to winners to advocate for important issues in their acceptance speeches, he didn’t want them committing an Oscars sin in the process: Droning on.
So if you do win an Oscar tonight, we want you to give a speech and 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 wanna encourage others to join the amazing students of Parkland at their march on the 24th, do that. If you wanna thank a favorite teacher, do that. Or maybe you just wanna 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, do whatever you want.
But with that said, here’s what we’re gonna do. Not saying you shouldn’t give a long speech, but whoever gives the shortest speech tonight will go home with… Johnny, tell them what they’ll win!
In true game show-style, the Oscars stage opened to reveal an actual jet ski (retail price: $17,999), presented by the one and only Helen Mirren.
Who needs “play off” music when you can simply buy stars off with a jet ski?