The 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' host's opening speech also tackles Mel Gibson and his well-documented 'rivalry' with Matt Damon.
Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the 2017 Academy Awards with an opening speech tackling Donald Trump, Mel Gibson and his well-documented "rivalry" with Matt Damon. The "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" host called the POTUS "racist" over his travel ban.
"I want to say thank you to President Trump. I mean, remember last year when it seemed the Oscars were racist?" Jimmy told the crowd, referencing last year's "Oscars So White" controversy. Alluding to nominated films "Hidden Figures" and "La La Land", he added, "Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That's progress."
Jimmy then took a jab at Mel. "The country is divided right now. I've been getting a lot of advice, it's time to bring people together. There's only one 'Braveheart' in this room, and he's not going to unite us either," he said, before adding, "You look great, Mel - I think the Scientology is really working."
Jimmy said he would like to "bury the hatchet" with Matt. "I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with - Matt Damon," he shared, "I've known Matt for a long time now. I've known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one. He's a selfish person - those of you who have worked with him know this. But Matt did something very unselfish and I want to commend him for it."
He continued, "Matt, as you probably know, could have starred in 'Manchester by the Sea'. But he didn't. He gave that role to Casey Affleck, his childhood friend. He handed what turned out to be an Oscar-caliber role over to his friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead. And that movie, 'The Great Wall', went on to lose $80 million."
Jimmy encouraged the audience to give Meryl Streep an applause. "One actress has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances," he said, "[She's] phoned it in for more than 50 films. This is Meryl's 20th Oscar nomination ... she wasn't even in a movie this year, we just wrote her name in out of habit. Some of you will [win tonight] and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps."