Film & TV

Hollywood Outdoes Itself at Social Justice Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 4, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The Academy Awards mentioned sexual harassment, gun control, and immigration reform.

The 90th Oscars did not disappoint, at least for those hoping Hollywood would address several high-profile political issues.

In his second consecutive year hosting the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel touched on both the #MeToo and #NeverAgain movements.

“We will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly that women started dating fish,” the late night comedy host told the glittering crowd, a reference to the Best Picture winner Shape of Water.

“Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women: we made a film called What Women Want, and it starred Mel Gibson,” Kimmel quipped.

The awards ceremony was notably free of ribald jokes, perhaps for the first time.

Kimmel also gave a shout out to the student survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting.

“If you want to encourage people to join the amazing students at Parkland for their march on the 24th, do that,” the host encouraged actors.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School plan to march on Washington, D.C. to lobby for gun control later this month.

The ceremony continued with Frances McDormand winning best actress for for Three Billboards. Gary Oldman received Best Actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and Guillermo del Toro took Best Director for Shape of Water. Dunkirk swept three awards, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Film Editing. Lady Bird, the only female-directed film nominated for Best Director, was snubbed in all categories.

Kimmel could not resist a couple of shots at President Trump as well.

“The stunning Lupita Nyong’o, she was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya,” Kimmel said of the Black Panther actress. “Let the tweetstorm from the president’s toilet begin!”

“If the last two years have taught us anything it’s that reality can be depressing,” Kimmel said. He quickly added, “Where there is darkness there is also hope, well, except for the White House. Hope quit on Wednesday,” a reference to White House aide Hope Hicks, a close Trump advisor who resigned on Wednesday.

The host also poked fun at Vice President Mike Pence, mentioning an LGBT film that Kimmel remarked did not do spectacularly at the box office.

“We don’t make films like Call Me By Your Name for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence,” Kimmel quipped.

Fox News did not escape a barb from the late night host either.

“Oscar is 90 years old, which means he’s probably home watching Fox News.”

When Icarus won Best Documentary feature, Kimmel referenced Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election. The film casts shade on drugs in sports, mentioning Russian athletes in particular.

“Now at least we know Putin didn’t rig this competition, right?” the host joked.

Several actors referenced immigration reform as well.

“To all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you,” said actor Kumail Nanjiani standing onstage with Lupita Nyong’o.

“Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in,” Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman said.

Criticism and support on Twitter were both swift, many users lamenting that the awards offered no respite from the 24 hour news cycle.

Kimmel also joked about the length of the awards, saying he would award a jetski to whomever gives the shortest speech.

ABC began the programming with a tasteful black-and-white introduction, reminiscent of Oscars past. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway managed to redeem themselves after last year’s debacle and presented the Best Picture award without fumbling.

 

 

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