Jimmy Kimmel references ‘the Slap,’ ‘Till’ and ‘The Woman King’ snubs in Oscars monologue

The late-night host kicked off the 95th Annual Academy Awards with a variety of jokes, references and shout-outs.

The 95th Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday night, and Jimmy Kimmel wasted no time referencing the various snubs in this year’s ceremony, “the Slap” from last year’s telecast and more.

TV host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, all eyes were on the Academy Awards to see how (if at all) it would handle the ceremony this year after last year’s controversial moment when Will Smith took to the stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian joked about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. During his opening monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel referenced the now-infamous moment.

Speaking on the new system put in place following last year’s altercation, Kimmel said, “If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.” He then went on to joke about the Academy’s new “crisis” team that was put in place, and told the audience to do what they did last year: “Nothing.”

“And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy with it — it’s not going to be easy,” he continued, shouting out action stars like Michael B. Jordan and Michelle Yeoh as people they would have to fight to get to him.

Kimmel also took time to shout out some of the biggest snubs of the year, both of which being films by Black talent. Specifically, Kimmel gave a plug to “The Woman King” and “Till,” saying that both films are “very worthy of your time if you haven’t seen them.”

Kimmel then broke down the ways in which the cinema landscape is changing, including the controversy surrounding Warner Bros.’s surprising decision to cancel “Batgirl.” He said to the audience, “‘Batgirl’ became the first superhero to be “defeated by the accounting department.” 

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