Jimmy Kimmel Will Address #MeToo at the Oscars After All
On Thursday (March 1), Jimmy Kimmel found himself amid an internet firestorm when reports surfaced that he wouldn't address #MeToo or Time's Up while hosting Sunday's Oscars ceremony. The outrage stemmed from an ABC News interview during which, when asked how he would approach said movements, Kimmel replied that the show was "not about reliving people's sexual assaults" and that he didn't want to "ruin" the experience for those being celebrated by making it "unpleasant."
"I'm not going to ... stop any bad behavior with my jokes," he concluded.
Many news outlets took that to mean #MeToo wouldn't be a part of Kimmel's talking points during the telecast, but it turns out that those conclusions were misleading. The late night darling previously told Variety that #MeToo and Time's Up would, in fact, "be a part of the show," and in the same ABC interview, said it was “almost necessary” for comedians like himself to address serious issues. He reiterated as much while speaking to Vanity Fair for an article published late Thursday night, responding "Yes, I do," when asked directly if he planned to include “questions or bits that address Time’s Up."
That falls more in line with Kimmel's brand of comedy. Particularly since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, he's established himself as one of late night's most visible hosts, growing from a timid political participant into an impassioned spokesperson. His commentary on healthcare, gun control, and Donald Trump has earned high praise for his candid and openhearted approach. During his monologue about the Harvest festival shooting in Las Vegas — Kimmel's hometown — he was audibly choked up.
And though Kimmel has, admittedly, been less vocal about #MeToo and Time's Up, it would seem odd if he chose entertainment's biggest stage to shy way. Ever since the momentous Time's Up showing at the Golden Globes in January, such movements have cast a present shadow on awards shows whether addressed or not. The SAG Awards rose, if less enthusiastically, to the occasion; The Grammys came up short.
How, specifically, Kimmel will incorporate #MeToo and Time's Up into his hosting dutings remains to be seen, but viewers won't have to wait long. The 2018 Oscars air Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET.