Jimmy Kimmel opened the 90th annual Academy Awards with a monologue that addressed last year’s Envelopegate, the Time’s Up movement, and Christopher Plummer’s age. You can check out the highlights here, or if you prefer, read a transcript of Kimmel’s entire monologue below:
Hi welcome, welcome beautiful people. Welcome to the Dolby Theater and greetings from Hollywood to our viewers all over the world, thank you for watching, thank you for having me. It is a great honor to be invited back for a second time. It’s a great honor to be here among so many talented women and men, congratulations to all of you, you made it, we’re at the Oscars. Some of you will be going home tonight with an Academy Award, what could be better than that? Nothing, right?
So I do want to mention — this year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Just give us a minute. We don’t want another thing. What happened last year was unfortunate. I have not told this story in public, because I wanted to save it for tonight. But here’s what happened, this is true. Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do some comedy with the accountants and I said no, I don’t want to do comedy with the accountants. So then the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own. And I have to hand it to them, it was hilarious. But it won’t happen again.
This year, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers said, and I quote, ‘Our singular focus will be on the show and delivering the correct envelopes’, which does make sense. Just out of curiosity though, what was your focus the other 89 years? I’m hopeful that things will go smoothly tonight, we can’t ruin this one.
This is a special year, this is a big one. These are the 90th academy awards — this is history happening right here. Our friend Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he’s probably at home right now watching Fox News. Of course, no, Oscar is here with us. After all the awards given for achievements in show business, Oscar is still number one. No question about it. Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood and there’s a very good reason why. Just look at him. He 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.
Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women—we made a movie called What Women Want and it starred Mel Gibson. Kind of all you need to know.
The Academy, as you are no doubt aware, took action last year to expel Harvey Weinstein from their ranks. There are a lot of great nominees, but Harvey deserved it the most. The Academy kicked him out and after they did, I was curious so I looked it up. You know the only other person to be expelled from the academy ever was a character actor named Carmine Caridi. In 2004 he was kicked out for sharing screeners. Carmine Caridi got the same punishment as Harvey Weinstein for giving his neighbor a copy of Seabiscuit on VHS.
But what happened with Harvey and what’s happening all over is way overdue. We can’t let bad behavior slide anymore. 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 and every other place they go.
Over the course of this evening, I hope you will listen to many brave and outspoken supporters of movements like #MeToo, and Time’s Up, and never again because what they’re doing is important. Things are changing for the better, they’re making sure of that. It’s positive change. This is a night for positivity. And our plan is to shine a light on a group of outstanding and inspiring films — each and every one one of which got crushed by Black Panther this weekend. That’s okay. The success of Black Panther is one of many positive stories this year, especially for African Americans and Bob Iger. Black Panther and Wonder Woman were massive hits which is almost miraculous because I remember a time when the major studios didn’t believe a woman or a minority could open a superhero movie. And the reason I remember that time is because it was March of last year.
But this year we have a lot to celebrate. Ceilings have been shattered, ceilings in screenwriting, we have our first-ever female nominee for cinematography, Rachel Morrison. So many of tonight’s nominees are making history. And in fact, if you are a nominee tonight who isn’t making history, shame on you.
Greta Gerwig is the first woman to be nominated for director in 8 years, and that’s important. Only 11% 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, especially when you look at what happened with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. We all know the story: Mark Wahlberg was paid a million and a half dollars to reshoot his scenes, while Michelle Williams, for her reshoots, got per diem. She was paid $80 a day for the same thing. And what made it especially unfair is that Mark and Michelle are represented by the same agency. And I have to admit this story really surprised me. This one shook me because if we can’t trust agents, who can we trust?
To his credit, Mark Wahlberg announced he would be donating all 1.5 million dollars to the Time’s Up legal defense fund. So I guess now the ball’s in your court, Michelle, what are you gonna do with that 80 bucks?
In the meantime triple congratulations are in order for the kid from Comedy Central, Jordan Peele, who had a huge success with his movie Get Out. Jordan is only the third person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing, and best picture for his debut film. What a debut it was. None other than President Trump called Get Out the best first three-quarters of a movie this year.
Margot Robbie had a great year, too. Margot scored her first nomination for her portrayal of Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. It was terrific. Whose kneecaps did Tonya Harding have to break to get this dream casting? Because if they made a movie about my life, best case scenario I’d be played by Jim Belushi.
Another exceptionally gifted young actor who is nominated for the first time is Timothee Chalamet, who looks very dashing tonight. Wow, look at that tux. Are you having fun, Timothee? This is a big deal: Timothee is missing Paw Patrol to be here tonight. Don’t worry Rider and his team of pups save the day. Timothee is the star of a small but powerful story called Call Me By Your Name, which did not make a lot of money. In fact, of the nine best picture nominees only two of them made more than 100 million dollars. But that’s not the point — we don’t make films like Call Me By Your Name for money, we make them to upset Mike Pence.
Timothee is the youngest best actor nominee in almost 80 years, and on the other end of the abacus we have our oldest acting nominee ever — the magnificent Christopher Plummer is 88 years old and still going strong. Chris, maybe this is not the place but I wanted to ask you: How does Lin-Manuel Miranda compare to the real Alexander Hamilton?
Once again, right here in the front row, maybe the greatest actor of all time, Meryl Streep is here with us. She earned her 21st Oscar nomination. Meryl’s film career started in 1977. The longest she ever went without being nominated was from 1992 and 1995, and that’s only because those were the years she was in prison, and that I think is amazing.
The most nominated movie tonight, a film that’s up for 13 Oscars, is The Shape of Water, written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro, a wonderful man. Congratulations, I’m very happy for Guillermo. You made a beautiful movie and thanks to Guillermo we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish.
Okay, before we start handing out the awards, some history because we are going to do things a bit differently. The first Oscar ceremony lasted, and this is true, 15 minutes from beginning to end. And people still complained. So if you do get an Oscar tonight we want you to give a speech and we want you to say whatever you feel needs to be said. Speak from the heart. We want passion. You have an opportunity and a platform to remind millions of people about important things like equal rights and equal treatment. If you want to encourage others to join the amazing students at Parkland at their march on the 24th, do that. If you want to thank a favorite teacher do that. Or maybe you just want to thank your parents and tell your kids to go to sleep. What you say is entirely up to you, you don’t have to change the world, do whatever you want.
But with that said, this is a really long show. So here’s what we’re going to do. Not saying you shouldn’t give a long speech but, whoever gives the shortest speech tonight will go home with — Johnny tell them what they’ll win.
[Johnny/announcer: It’s a brand new jet ski!]
Thank you, Helen, thank you, Johnny. Helen Mirren not included. Why waste precious time thanking your mom when you could be taking her for the ride of her life on a brand new jet ski? This is not a joke. I will be timing you. I have a stopwatch. The moment you are handed that Oscar, the clock will start ticking. So get up here, grab it, and go. And in the unlikely event of a tie, I need to say the jet ski will be awarded to Christopher Plummer.