Oscar takeaways: panned by Trump, host Kimmel quips, ‘Isn’t it past your jail time?’

March 11, 2024 - 12:21 PM
Show host Jimmy Kimmel delivers his opening monologue at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Hollywood’s biggest stars gathered on Sunday to celebrate the year’s best accomplishments in film at the annual Academy Awards.

READ: Full list of Oscar winners at the 96th Academy Awards

Here are some takeaways from the 96th Oscars ceremony.

Trump reviews Kimmel

Late in the show, Jimmy Kimmel read aloud from a scathing online review of his performance as Oscars host, revealing at the end that it was written by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel at The Oscars,” Trump posted on his Truth Social social media platform, also criticizing the show as “Disjointed, boring, and very unfair.”

Tall show host Kimmel, who’s long feuded with Trump, jokingly asked the audience to guess which former president had written the post, and then quipped: “Thank you, President Trump. Isn’t it past your jail time?”

‘I’m just Ken’

Ryan Gosling, who played Ken in the blockbuster “Barbie” movie, delivered an energetic performance of the film’s campy musical number “I’m Just Ken” dressed in a hot pink suit and flanked by an ensemble of male dancers.

He was joined by Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash and walked into the audience to sing with his “Barbie” castmate Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig. The song, written by Mark Ronson, was nominated for an Oscar for best original song, while Gosling received a best supporting actor nod for his role as Barbie’s lovestruck sidekick.

Best actress Oscar winner Emma Stone, later in the show, joked during her acceptance speech that the back of her pale green gown had ripped during the performance.

John Cena re-enacts a legendary Oscars moment 

At the Oscars ceremony 50 years ago, a man ran across the stage naked flashing a peace sign behind actor David Niven, a legendary piece of Academy Awards history that host Kimmel said he wanted to commemorate.

To celebrate the anniversary, actor and wrestling star John Cena walked on stage wearing nothing but the envelope containing the name of the winner of the best costume Oscar.

“Costumes are so important,” Cena deadpanned. “Maybe the most important thing there is.”

Ukraine’s first Oscar

“20 Days in Mariupol” director Mstyslav Chernov delivered a powerful speech in accepting his award for best documentary feature, Ukraine’s first-ever Oscar. Chernov’s film documents his time as a video journalist covering the first three weeks of Russia’s siege of the Ukrainian city.

“Probably I will be the first director on this stage that will say I wish I never made this film,” he said. “I wish to be able to exchange this to Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities … but I cannot change history. Cannot change the past.

“But we all together, you, some of the most talented people in the world, we can make sure the history record is set straight and that the truth will prevail and that the people of Mariupol and those who have given their lives will never be forgotten. Because cinema forms memories. And memories form history.”


As stars began arriving to walk the red carpet, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters angered by the Israel-Gaza conflict shouted and slowed traffic in the blocks surrounding the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

“While you’re watching, bombs are dropping,” one sign read.

On the red carpet, Oscar nominees, including Billie Eilish and Mark Ronson, wore red lapel pins calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Actor Mark Ruffalo praised the protesters as he entered the theater and raised a clenched fist. “We need peace,” he said.

Kimmel celebrates strike victories

Kimmel’s opening monologue included the usual jabs at the Hollywood elite with a reference to best supporting actor nominee Robert Downey Jr.’s history of drug abuse and joking that “Barbie” co-stars Margot Robbie, who was snubbed for a best actress nomination, and Ryan Gosling, who is nominated for best supporting actor, had already won “the genetic lottery.”

He also celebrated the end of a difficult year in Hollywood, where strikes by actors and writers halted production of movies and television for months.

“Actors no longer have to worry about getting replaced by AI thanks to this historic agreement. Actors are now able to go back to worrying about being replaced by younger, more attractive people …

“This long and difficult work stoppage taught us that this very strange town of ours, as pretentious and superficial as it can be, at its heart is a union town. It’s not just a bunch of heavily Botoxed, Hailey Bieber smoothie-drinking, diabetes prescription-abusing, gluten-sensitive nepo babies with perpetually shivering Chihuahuas. This is a coalition of strong, hard-working, mentally tough laborers, women and men who would 100% sure die if we even had to touch the handle of a shovel.”

Yoko Ona gets a Mother’s Day shout-out 

Sean Ono Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, asked the audience to wish his famous mother a happy Mother’s Day when he took the stage with the winners of the best animated short Oscar for a film he collaborated on, “War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko.”

“My mother turned 91 this February, and today is Mother’s Day in the UK,” Lennon said. “So would everyone please say ‘Happy Mother’s Day, Yoko?'”

The audience obliged.

READ: Takeaways from the 2024 Oscars show

—Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Jonathan Oatis