jimmy kimmel, louis ck, linda holmes, paul f tompkins

Jimmy Kimmel Hosting the Oscars Considering How Infamous His Last Time Was… Is a Choice

Jimmy Kimmel has once more been selected to host the Oscars and the decision is a bit surprising given how he handled an infamous mix-up during the 89th Academy Awards. The Academy announced the news on November 7th, 2022, via Instagram. The post indicated that Kimmel will host the 94th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023. This will mark the third time Kimmel has been given the honor of hosting the Oscars. He consecutively hosted the 89th and 90th awards in 2017 and 2018.

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Kimmel certainly has extensive hosting experience given his late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! He has been hosting the show for over two decades now, making it the longest-running late-night talk show still on the network. In addition to this, he has hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards three times, as well as countless other awards shows. Of course, his stint as a TV show host hasn’t been without incident.

Before his talk show, he had utilized blackface in several comedy sketches he was a part of. He issued an apology in 2020 after the performance come to light once more. In the past, he has also made other jokes that haven’t been well-received, such as comparing BTS’s growing popularity to COVID-19. However, it was a mix-up at the 89th Academy Awards that drew scrutiny to his selection to host the show a third time. During the show, the wrong film was announced as the winner of the Best Picture Award and many were unimpressed with how Kimmel chose to handle it as host.

Kimmel’s Infamous 89th Academy Awards Hosting

At the 89th Academy Awards, La La Land and Moonlight were two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Award. Actor Warren Beatty was given the honor of announcing the winner. However, he had been wrongfully given the results of the Best Actress winner, not the Best Picture winner. Because the Best Actress winner was Emma Stone for her role in La La Land, he announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner, instead of Moonlight. After several moments, the mistake became clear. La La Land producer, Jordan Horowitz, commendably rushed to the microphone to usher Moonlight on stage.

However, Kimmel had a less-than-commendable reaction to the mistake. As Horowitz announced Moonlight as the winner and the crowd began cheering, Kimmel cut through the noise to tell La La Land that they should keep the award anyway. He then went to the microphone and stated:

This is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this. I would like to see you [La La Land] get an Oscar anyways, why can’t we just give out a whole bunch of them?

The Harvey comment was about the TV host making a similar gaffe while hosting the 2015 Miss Universe competition. However, Horowitz stepped in again to cut Kimmel off and, once more, handled the situation with respect and class as he indicated how proud he would be to hand the Oscar to his “friends in Moonlight.” Later, when Beatty was explaining his mistake and clarifying that he hadn’t been trying to be “funny” Kimmel told him that he was “very funny.”

Should Kimmel Host the Oscars Again?

Kimmel would return to host the Oscars again the following year without incident. As he prepares to host for the third time, it has raised the question of whether he is deserving of the honor after that incident. While the mix-up wasn’t his fault, many questioned what he meant by his odd reaction to it. He clearly should not have indicated that he still wanted La La Land to wrongfully accept the award. He then took it a step further by suddenly likening the prestigious award to a participation trophy once Midnight was deemed the winner and suggesting that everyone should get one.

Additionally, the incident was not “funny” and shouldn’t have been deemed so by him. Likely, Kimmel was simply trying to lighten the situation with his humor. None of his comments seemed to be racially motivated, though it may have appeared that way given the fact that Moonlight was an LGTBQ film with an all-black cast.

While there wasn’t a precedent for how to handle that situation, Kimmel’s response still wasn’t warranted. The obvious response was to apologize and hype up Moonlight even further to make up for the mistake. Not to ramble on that everyone should get an Oscar, anyway. The comments alone shouldn’t disqualify him from hosting the Oscars. However, with the 2017 mix-up and Will Smith’s Oscar slap last year, the Academy Award isn’t immune to fiascos. A host must be put in charge who can handle situations that arise and not simply revert to poorly timed comedy, and it’s questionable if Kimmel can be that host.

(featured: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.