Jimmy Kimmel Academy Awards Speech Touches on Sexual Harassment, Equality, Racism, Gun Control

By Aaron Brophy 3/5/18 | www.samaritanmag.com

Photo credit: screenshot via Jimmy Kimmel Live YT

Jimmy Kimmel, host of the 90th Academy Awards, used his opening monologue last night (March 4) to tackle a number of social justice issues affecting both the entertainment industry and society as a whole.

In front of an A0list audience at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, Kimmel confronted sexual harassment, equality, minority representation and gun control, all delivered with an unapologetic, sardonic air.

One of Kimmel's first jokes revolved around calling the Oscar trophy "the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood."

Looking at a giant version of the Oscar trophy on stage, Kimmel added, "And there’s a very good reason why. Just look at him. 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. And that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town."

After making a joke about Harvey Weinstein being one of only two people ever kicked out of The Academey, Kimmel then went all-in on sexual harassment.

"We can’t let bad behaviour slide anymore," he said. "The world is watching us. We need to set an example and the truth is if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go."

From there Kimmel brought up how successful female- and black-led movies like Wonder Woman and Black Panther had been before pointing out how few women had been nominated in high profile craft categories.

"Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) is the first woman to be nominated for director in eight years," he said, before addressing pay inequality. "And that’s important. Only 11 percent of movies are directed by women. And that is nuts. We still have a very long way to go in that department, and a very long way to go when it comes to equal pay."

Kimmel used Jordan Peele's nomination for the film Get Out as a droll way to address President Donald Trump's racism.

"Jordan is only the third person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing and best picture for his debut film," said Kimmel. "And what — what a debut it was. None other than President Trump called Get Out the best first three-quarters of a movie this year."

As he was about to wrap up, Kimmel also told the winners that night to "speak from the heart" before giving one last nod to the Parkland students' emerging new movement for gun control and their upcoming student strike coming on March 24.

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