Jimmy Kimmel Makes Joe, Hunter Biden Reference at the 2023 Oscars – The Hollywood Reporter
Mar 16, 2023
Political comments were not off-limits during the 2023 Oscars on Sunday night, including a Joe and Hunter Biden reference and award dedications to political prisoners.
During the opening monologue of Hollywood’s biggest night, host Jimmy Kimmel called Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen the “Joe and Hunter Biden of Hollywood.” Rogan starred as Bennie Loewy in the director’s film, The Fabelmans.
“This is my favorite duo of the year,” the host added. “What a pair.”
Later in the ceremony, while accepting the Oscar for best documentary feature, Navalny director Daniel Roher dedicated the award to Russian political opposition leader and Putin critic Alexei Navalny. He said the film’s namesake, who has been imprisoned in Russia since March 2021, “remains in solitary confinement for what he [Navalny] calls, ‘Vladimir Putin’s unjust war of aggression in Ukraine.’”
“I would like to dedicate this award to Navalny, to all political prisoners around the world,” Roher added. “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all. We cannot, we must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”
Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, also shared a message on the stage, saying, “My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy.” She concluded by telling her husband to “stay strong.”
At one point, when Kimmel returned to the stage, he showed his appreciation for film editors before joking about the Capitol insurrection: “Editors can turn 44,000 hours of violent insurrection footage into a respectful sightseeing tour of the Capitol. Your work is unappreciated!”
Toward the end of the ceremony, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won the best directing award for Everything Everywhere All at Once, and during the latter’s speech, he dedicated the award “to the mommies of the world, to our moms, specifically my mom and dad, thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror films or really perverted comedy films or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody!”
The director’s comments come after Tennessee recently passed two controversial anti-LGBTQ laws — one that restricts gender-affirming care for minors and another law that restricts drag queens from performing in public places. Other Hollywood figures have taken to social media in recent days in protest.
After, Kimmel took the stage again and mocked controversial United States Rep. George Santos (who has been under fire after admitting that he lied about much of his personal history and résumé), saying, “The last directing team to win an Oscar was Congressman George Santos.”
Several notables at the Oscars, including Cate Blanchett, Guillermo del Toro, Edward Berger and Dolly De Leon, also wore a blue ribbon made by refugees throughout the night “as an emblem of compassion and solidarity for those who have been forced to flee their homes because of war, conflict and persecution.”
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday. See the complete winners list and view the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.
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