An oversized replica of the official 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony of host Jimmy Kimmel hovers over Hollywood Blvd. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
March 4 (UPI) -- Returning Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel was quick to bring up the jaw-dropping mistake that led to La La Land being announced as Best Picture instead of rightful winner Moonlight last year.
One of the accountants who tabulated the votes handed off the wrong envelope to awards presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the end of the 2017 broadcast on ABC.
"This year, when you hear your name called, don't get up right away. Give us a minute. We don't want another thing. What happened last year was unfortunate," Kimmel told the crowd at the Dolby Theatre at Sunday's gala. "Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do some comedy with the accountants and I said, 'No, I don't want to do comedy with the accountants.' So, then the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own. And I have to hand it to them, it was hilarious, but it won't happen again."
Kimmel went on to say he was assured the accountants would focus on the show and delivering the right envelope this year.
"Just out of curiosity, though, what was your focus the other 89 years? I'm hopeful things will go smoothly tonight," the comedian said, joking about how well respected the Academy Awards or Oscars are within the entertainment industry.
Gesturing toward a life-sized statue of an Oscar -- which is nude but does not have genitals and has its arms crossed -- Kimmel noted, "Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood.
"And there is a very good reason why. Just look at him. He keeps his hands where you can see them. Never says a rude word and, most importantly, no penis at all. Literally, a statue of limitations," he said as the audience applauded. "That's the kind of man we need more of in this town."
He also mentioned that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences -- bestowers of the Oscars -- recently ousted disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein after he was accused by dozens of women of sexual abuse.
"There are a lot of great nominees, but Harvey deserved it the most," Kimmel said, adding that only one other person had ever been expelled from the academy before Weinstein -- a character actor named Carmine Caridi who got the boot in 2004 for sharing movie screeners.
"Carmine Caridi got the same punishment as Harvey Weinstein for giving his neighbor a copy of Seabiscuit on VHS," Kimmel quipped. "But what happened with Harvey and what's happening all over is long overdue. We can't let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example. And the truth is, if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time, in every other place they go."
He encouraged winners to stand up for their beliefs during their acceptance speeches, but also promised whomever delivered the shortest remarks would go home with a new $18,000 personal watercraft.
Kimmel said the awards presentation is intended to be a night of positivity in which the industry shines a light on "a group of outstanding and inspiring films -- each and every one of which got crushed by Black Panther this weekend."