Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel said he is awaiting President Donald Trump’s tweets in response to Sunday night’s ceremony — after calling the president racist and implying that hundreds of countries “now hate us.”
“The country is divided right now,” the late-night talk-show host said during his opening remarks on ABC’s telecast. The comedian went on to say that he was asked to “say something to unite us.”
“I can’t do that, there’s only one ‘Braveheart’ in this room, and he’s not going to unite us either,” Kimmel joked, as the camera turned to Mel Gibson.
“I’m not the man to unite this country,” Kimmel said, adding there were millions of millions of people watching the award show at the moment. He urged everyone watching to “have a positive considerate conversation not as liberals or conservatives but as Americans – if we all did that it would make America great again. It starts with us.”
Looking down to the front row, Kimmel also pointed out the “highly overrated” Meryl Streep — a dig at Trump who tweeted insults about the actress following a Golden Globes speech where she highlighted the importance of journalism in a divisive political age.
Streep is nominated for her 20th Academy Award, and Kimmel jokingly cited some of her earlier “overrated” work such as “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Deer Hunter.”
“Nice dress, by the way,” Kimmel said to Streep, after asking her to stand up so everyone could give her a round of applause. “Is that an Ivanka?”
Taking a hit at #OscarsSoWhite, which trended last year amid complaints about the lack of diversity among actors and movies that were honored, Kimmel said: “I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars are racist?”
Kimmel also took a hit at Friday’s press gaggle with White House press secretary Sean Spicer, in which outlets like POLITICO, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and BuzzFeed News, were not allowed to participate in.
“CNN, LA Times… anything with the word Times in it, I’ll like to ask you to leave,” Kimmel said, adding there is “no tolerance for fake news.”
While introducing Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Kimmel said she is “a rare president, a president who believes in both arts and sciences.”
During her speech, Boone Isaacs celebrated diversity in the arts that spans across borders.
“Tonight is proof, that art has no borders, that art doesn’t have a single language,” she said. “all creative artists around the world are connected by an unbreakable bond that is powerful and permanent.”