Jimmy Kimmel highlights lack of female Best Director nominees in opening monologue

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Host Jimmy Kimmel roasted the Oscars over its lack of female Best Director nominees during his opening monologue on Sunday.

The Oscars host made the jab about the lack of gender diversity within the Best Director shortlist as he noted Avatar: The Way of Water filmmaker James Cameron was absent from the ceremony on Sunday.

"James Cameron is not here. You know a show is too long when even James Cameron can't sit through it," he joked, referencing the length of Cameron's movies. "Some of the cynics are saying Jim Cameron isn't here because he didn't get a best director nomination and while I find that very hard to believe about a man of such deep humility. He does have a point. I mean, how does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar? What do they think he is, a woman?"

In the history of the Academy Awards, only seven women have been nominated for Best Director, with Jane Campion being nominated twice.

This year, the Best Director prize went to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All At Once. The other nominees were Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Todd Field (Tár) and Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness).

Elsewhere in his opening monologue, Kimmel poked fun in the response to Will Smith's infamous slap, revived his feud with Matt Damon, joked about the use of controversial weight-loss medicine Ozempic, and asked Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai if she thought Harry Styles spat on Chris Pine at the Don't Worry Darling premiere last year.

"I only talk about peace," she diplomatically responded.

The 2023 Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.