Jimmy Kimmel Lashes Out at President Trump During Feisty Oscars Opener

Kimmel didn't shy away from getting political during his opening remarks at the Oscars

Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Let’s make one thing clear: Jimmy Kimmel is not here to unite the nation.

Kimmel brought razor-sharp humor to several surprising targets in front of a packed audience at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.

He kicked things off with a veiled reference to Donald Trump‘s presidency: “This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us. And I think that is an amazing thing.”

He then joked that “people have been telling me it’s time to bring everyone together, ‘You need to say something to unite us.’ Let’s just get something straight off the top: I can’t do that.”

RELATED VIDEO: The 2017 Oscar Nominees, By the Numbers

But just because Kimmel didn’t have any words of wisdom to unite the country doesn’t mean he shied away from getting political during his opening remarks.

Watch the PEOPLE & EW Red Carpet Live Oscars pre-show on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app on your favorite device. Then watch our Red Carpet Fashion Wrap-Up after the Oscars!

“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him. It has been an amazing year for movies. Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That’s what you call progress.”

And of course, Kimmel couldn’t help but call out the “underrated” Meryl Streep.

“Meryl, stand up if you would,” she said. “Everybody, please join me in giving her a totally under deserved round of applause, will you? The highly overrated Meryl Streep everyone.”

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2017 Academy Awards coverage and complete winners list!

Just after the speech, former Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted her approval of the speech, joking “that monologue was so brilliant it’s already overrated.” She then announced that “you’ve got this job for life.”

The late night host then joked that the President would likely respond to the night’s event during his “5 a.m. bowel movement.”

“I think that’s pretty darn excellent if you ask me,” he concluded.

Related Articles