Jimmy Kimmel Says He Was Asked Not to Read Trump’s Critical Post at Oscars

The war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and former President Donald Trump began onstage from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday. And in a post-ceremony backstage interview, the 2024 Oscars host shed light on the moment being quickly incorporated into the broadcast.

Toward the end of the 2024 telecast, four-time Oscars host Kimmel had responded to a critical social media post from the former president after he was told that he has a bit of extra time before the night’s top awards were handed out, telling the audience, “I’m really proud of something and I was wondering if I could share it with you. I just got a review.”

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The late night host then proceeded to read a post that Trump shared on his social media platform, Truth Social. “Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel at The Oscars,” the former president pondered. “His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard to be something which he is not, and never can be. Get rid of Kimmel and perhaps replace him with another washed up, but cheap, ABC ‘talent,’ George Slopanopoulos. He would make everybody on stage look bigger, stronger, and more glamorous.”

Trump then moved on from his take on Kimmel’s hosting work and into his overall critique of the broadcast. “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,” the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination wrote on Truth Social. “Maybe that way their audience and TV ratings will come back from the depths. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

At the Oscars, the audience erupted into laughter as the post was read to them.

“See if you can guess which former president just posted that?” the host asked. “Anyone? No? Well, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for watching, I’m surprised you’re still — isn’t it past your jail time?”

After the show, Kimmel spoke with his fellow ABC talk show hosts Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos during their post-show Live special. He told the duo that he was went against advice from some he spoke with backstage, who advised him against reading Trump’s rant aloud during the ceremony.

“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 revealed. “[I was like] ‘Yes I am.’”

Sunday marked the TV personality’s fourth time hosting the Academy Awards. He told Ripa and Consuelos that he was feeling “pretty good” about how it went at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday; critics seem to agree that he was pretty good as host this time, with The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg noting in his review that Kimmel is “a guy you can trust to do a monologue and then he’ll hold together the disparate components and fill dead air and generally keep the mood light. He’s a juggler, and no matter what Razzie winner Trump might say, a good awards show host.”

Kimmel and Trump have a history of needling one another. (For Kimmel’s second Oscars hosting outing in 2018, the pair went back and forth over who was “lowest rated.”) The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host has made Trump a common target of his monologues, and the former president, known for live-tweeting about some of Hollywood’s biggest events, has made the Academy Awards the target of some of his most withering tweets, dating back to 2014.

When talking to THR ahead of the Oscars about heading into another election year focused on Trump, the late night host said he enjoys getting a rise out of the former POTUS.

“I kind of love it, because I know it bothers him and that really tickles me. And then occasionally, we get confirmation of that and it inspires me. He is my muse,” said Kimmel of talking about him on-air.

As of Monday morning, no follow-up comment has appeared on Trump’s Truth Social page. Same for Kimmel on X, though the host returns to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night with new material.

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