- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel opened Sunday’s Academy Awards show by acknowledging the political divide and promptly called President Trump a racist.

The host’s opening monologue acknowledged the importance of having a serious conversation with someone who disagrees with you, saying that “if we all do that, we can make America great again.” And then he went there.

He said he wanted to thank Mr. Trump because “remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist.”

Last year, not one of the 20 acting nominees were black or Hispanic, prompting changes in the Academy membership and the social-media campaign #OscarsSoWhite. This year, six of the 20 are black, with at least one in all four categories.

Mr. Kimmel took some other shots at Mr. Trump in his monologue, noting that the show was being shown in “more than 225 countries that now hate us,” expressing relief that Homeland Security had allowed in French actress Isabelle Huppert, and calling for a standing ovation for the “highly overrated” actress and 20-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep.

Miss Streep had given over her entire speech at the Golden Globes to attacking Mr. Trump, prompting the president to call her “highly overrated.”

Mr. Kimmel said this possibility held out hope for all the nominees.

If you win, the president “will tweet about you in all caps at his 5 a.m. bowel movement,” Mr. Kimmel said.

Later in the show, Mr. Kimmel tried to bait Mr. Trump into tweeting about the Oscars.

“We’re more than two hours into the show and Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted at us yet,” Mr. Kimmel said, adding that he was “worried” about the president.

He then tweeted twice at the @realdonaldtrump account, asking whether Mr. Trump was up, and claiming via a hashtag that Ms. Streep was talking trash at him.

In fact, Mr. Trump was doing presidential stuff at the White House — attending a black-tie ball in honor of nation’s governors.

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