Political commentary was not prohibited during the Sunday night of the 2023 Oscars, including a reference to Joe and Hunter Biden and award dedications to political prisoners.
During the opening monologue of the biggest night in Hollywood, host Jimmy Kimmel called Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen the “Joe and Hunter Bidens of Hollywood.” Rogan played Bennie Loewy in the director’s film, The Fabelmans.
“This is my favorite duo of the year,” added the presenter. “What a pair.”
Later at the ceremony, while accepting the Oscar for best documentary film, Navalni Director Daniel Roher dedicated the award to the leader of the Russian political opposition and critic of Putin, Alexei Navalny. He said the film’s namesake, who has been jailed in Russia since March 2021, “remains in solitary confinement for what [Navalny] calls, ‘Vladimir Putin’s unjust war of aggression in Ukraine’”.
“I would like to dedicate this award to Navalny, to all the political prisoners in the world,” Roher added. “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to all of us. We cannot, we must not be afraid to oppose dictatorships and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”
Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, also shared a message on stage, saying: “My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy.” She concluded by telling her husband to “stay strong.”
At one point, when Kimmel returned to the stage, he showed his appreciation for film editors before joking about the Capitol insurrection: “Editors can turn 44,000 hours of violent insurrection footage into a respectful panoramic tour of the Capitol. Your work is not appreciated!”
Towards the end of the ceremony, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won Best Director for Everything everywhere at onceand during the latter’s speech he dedicated the award “to the mommies of the world, to our moms, specifically to my mom and dad, thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror movies or really kinky comedy movies or dress like a boy, which is not a threat to anyone!”
The director’s comments come after Tennessee recently passed two controversial anti-LGBTQ laws: one restricting gender-affirming care for minors and another law restricting drag queens from performing in public places. Other Hollywood figures have taken to social media in recent days to protest.
Kimmel then took the stage again and mocked controversial United States Representative George Santos (who has come under fire after admitting he lied about much of his personal history and resume), saying, “The ultimate team of direction to win an Oscar was Congressman Jorge Santos.”
Several Oscar notables, including Cate Blanchett, Guillermo del Toro, Edward Berger and Dolly De Leon, also wore a refugee-made blue ribbon throughout the night “as an emblem of compassion and solidarity for those who have been forced to flee.” from their homes. because of war, conflict and persecution.”
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday. See the full list of winners and check out the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.