Oscars Get Political With Donald Trump Jokes, Times Up And Me Too Movements At Academy Awards

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Oscars Politics 2018

By Shari Weiss |

Oscars Politics 2018

(Getty Images)

The 2018 Oscars had political undertones on Sunday. The Academy Awards included jokes about Donald Trump, as well references to the Times Up and Me Too movements. Gossip Cop has a recap below.

The politically-charged atmosphere began on the red carpet, where Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and more stars spoke about #TimesUp and #MeToo. Judd brought Mira Sorvino as her date, several months after both women went public with allegations against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. “Finally, the world is able to hear,” Judd said in an interview with ABC.

In host Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue, he called Weinstein out by name, and stressed, “We can’t let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example.” In addition to #TimesUp and #MeToo, he specifically referenced the #NeverAgain campaign that arose in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Kimmel also made mention of the upcoming March For Our Lives, welcoming winners to use their acceptance speeches to encourage participation in the event.

The opening also included direct jabs at President Trump and even Vice President Mike Pence. When discussing Get Out, Kimmel cracked that “no other than President Trump called Get Out the best first three-quarters of a movie this year.” And then in regards to Call Me By Your Name, Kimmel said the film was an example of a movie “made to upset Mike Pence.” A short time later in the broadcast, the emcee alluded to the “reality” of the last two years, and said there should always be hope in times of darkness. “Except at the White House. Hope quit on Wednesday,” Kimmel quipped, referring to communicators director Hope Hicks.

Immediately after, Greta Gerwig came out to present Documentary Feature, and seemed to be taking a stand against fake news as she emphasized the importance of “what is real, what is authentic and what is fake.” When Icarus, which is about a Russian-involved doping scandal then won, Kimmel declared, “At least we now know Putin didn’t rig this competition.” Before presenting Production Design, Lupita Nyong’o noted that “dreams are the foundation of America.” That led co-presenter Kumail Nanjiani to declare, “To all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you.”

When Kobe Bryant accepted his Oscar for Best Animated Short film, he took a dig at Laura Ingraham, who last month told LeBron James he should “shut up and dribble” instead of being political. Bryant’s point, of course, was that his win shows basketball players aren’t just basketball players. Then, during his acceptance speech for Best Animated Film, Lee Ulrich paid tribute to Mexico and exclaimed, “Representation matters!” Right after, Daniela Vega made history as the first-ever transgender actress to present at the Oscars. “Thank you so much for this moment,” she said. In another first, Jordan Peele became the first African-American winner for Best Original Screenplay.

Later in the broadcast, Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph brought up the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and noted, “Since then some real progress has been made.” However, Haddish cracked, “But when we came out together, we know some of you were thinking, ‘Are the Oscars too black now?'” Quipped Rudolph, “We just want to say, don’t worry. There’s plenty more white people to come.” Not long afterward, Andra Day and Common had activists join them on stage for their performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall. Common’s rap referenced a number of political issues, from immigration to women’s rights to gun violence, as he encouraged everyone in the room to “stand up for what you believe in.”

After a break, Judd was joined on stage by Hayek and fellow Weinstein victim Annabella Sciorra, who said, “Slowly, a new path has emerged.” Judd said voices were now coming together in a “mighty chorus who are finally saying time’s up.” She went on, “Equality, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, that’s what this year has brought us.” Hayek then introduced a pre-taped video featuring some of the “trailblazers” in the industry discussing these changing times. Sorvino and Nanjiani were among those included.

Wes Studi, a veteran of the Vietnam War, later introduced a tribute in honor of “those who have fought for freedom around the world,” featuring footage from war-themed movies. It concluded with an on-screen message from the Oscars thanking the military. Later on, as Guillermo del Toro accepted Best Director, he noted, “I am an immigrant… The greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

Towards the end of the night, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand said, “If I may be honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me.” And so they all stood, as the star pushed for more opportunities for women in every aspect of the industry. Her final two words: “Inclusion rider.”

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