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Jimmy Kimmel says he was told not to read out Donald Trump’s criticism at the Oscars

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel has revealed that he was told not to read out Donald Trump’s criticism of the ceremony live on air.

During last night’s Oscars, which saw Oppenheimer and Poor Things both win big, Kimmel read aloud a statement posted by Trump on his social media site Truth Social in which the former US president attacked the presenter’s hosting abilities.

“Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel at The Oscars,” Trump wrote. “His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard to be something which he is not, and never can be…Also a really bad politically correct show tonight, and for years – Disjointed, boring, and very unfair. Why don’t they just give the Oscars to those that deserve them. Maybe that way their audience and TV ratings will come back from the depths. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

In response, Kimmel joked: “Blah, blah, blah … OK, now, see if you can guess which former president just posted that on Truth Social. Anyone? No? Well, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for watching, I’m surprised you’re still up – isn’t it past your jail time?”

Speaking to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos immediately after the ceremony on their “Live” TV special, Kimmel said members of the production team had tried to discourage him from reading out the criticism.

“They’re like, ‘You’ve got a little bit of time’ and I was like, ‘I’m reading the Trump tweet,’ and they’re like, ‘No, no, don’t read that,’” Kimmel said with a laugh. “[I was like] ‘Yes I am.’”

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in March 2023, and Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars (Getty Images)
Donald Trump at a campaign rally in March 2023, and Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars (Getty Images)

Kimmel also joked about Al Pacino’s failure to read out the list of nominees before presenting the award for Best Picture.

“I guess he’s never watched an awards show before,” Kimmel said. “It seems like everyone in America knows the rhythm of how it’s supposed to go… down to the ‘And the Oscar goes to…’ But not Al Pacino! God bless him.”

Last night was not the first time Trump has gone after the Oscars. In 2021, he claimed that “the Oscars” is “a far less important and elegant name” than “the Academy Awards”, and poked fun at the show’s declining ratings. “If they keep with the current ridiculous formula, it will only get worse – if that’s possible,” he wrote on Twitter.

In 2020, Trump became distracted during a rally and went on a rant about that year’s Best Picture prize being awarded to Bong Joon-ho’s celebrated class satire Parasite. “By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year, do you see?” Trump asked the crowd. “And the winner [was] a movie from South Korea. What the hell was all that about? We got enough problems with South Korea, on trade, and on top of it they give it the best movie of the year. Was it good?”