Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the Oscars this year with a monologue that made a point to address Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement that’s being so heavily discussed in Hollywood right now.
“The Academy as you know took lengths to expel Harvey Weinstein from their ranks,” he said. “What happened with Harvey and what’s happening all over is long overdue … if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. If we can do that, women will only have to deal with that every other place they go,” he joked.
He also made a point to poke fun at the age of the Oscars as well, since this is the 90th Academy Awards.
“Oscar is 89 years old this year, which probably means he’s at home watching Fox News,” he said. “Oscar is a very respected man in Hollywood, just look at him, he keeps his hands where he can see them, no penis. He is literally a statue of limitations.”
Kimmel’s plan to address industry sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement was set long before the ceremony started, though. Vanity Fair confirmed last Thursday that he was going to face it head-on.
“It’s very tricky because when people are scared they don’t laugh, and when there’s a camera in their face they behave differently than they do in a comedy club or in the audience on a talk show,” he said. “When you’re put in that position, those in the audience become a little bit of a deer in the headlights. That’s the part [where] you have to rely on experience and the knowledge of your medium.”
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After hosting the Oscars the year before, Kimmel had monologue experience under his belt already, and he knew it going in.
“It’s kind of the same drill. I feel like I learned little things, subtle things. Every time you do something like this you gain wisdom because the audience is not like the audience of your talk show. They’re not there to see you. You’re there to see them, so it’s just a different approach,” he said. “I’ve learned not to over-plan the show. I’ve learned you should play to the audience in front of you rather than the audience at home, and to keep it loose if possible. Some of these things tend to be very tightly wound.”