Jimmy Kimmel participates in the "90th Oscars" panel (AP/Richard Shotwell)

Jimmy Kimmel delivered with Oscars opening monologue

The returning host of the 90th Academy Awards was calm, but bold with his jokes and charges


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Rachel Leah
March 5, 2018 1:56AM (UTC)

Returning Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel promised he'd address #MeToo and the tidal wave of sexual misconduct coming from Hollywood, and he didn't disappoint. He mentioned disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein by name, who, he said was only the second person to be expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The other, Kimmel said, shared screening links with friends. Kimmel mocked that such disparate crimes should receive the same punishment.

Also, Kimmel spoke of ending sexual harassment in the workplace, with a quip that then women would just experience it in every other aspect of life — an important clarification. He retold the notorious pay disparity story of Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams during reshoots for "All the Money in the World," after Kevin Spacey was replaced amid sexual misconduct allegations. Kimmel didn't paint #MeToo and the fight in Hollywood and beyond as one-dimensional, or even sweeping, but with many moving components, causes and experiences, a reckoning he called "long overdue."

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As second-time host for the 90th Academy Awards, Kimmel was in control, but bold, reminding the audience that this was a special year. He cheered the trailblazers of the past year in film, from the record-breaking "Black Panther," to Jordan Peele, to Greta Gerwig. The message was that history had been made, both on screen and with the mobilization of women fighting against systematic sexual harassment. Here, he highlighted Time's Up.

Yet the jokes, too, were plentiful. "Here's how clueless Hollywood is about women: We made a movie called 'What Women Want' and it starred Mel Gibson," Kimmel said. He asked winners to not get up from their seat right away, in case of a repeat of the "Lala Land"/"Moonlight" fiasco for Best Picture. And he enticed winners of the night to keep their speeches as short as possible, awarding the winner with a jet ski.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah

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