- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2018

Apparently nobody but Vice President Mike Pence would object to a movie glorifying a sexual relationship between a teenager and an adult.

Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel mocked Mr. Pence during Sunday’s awards show by suggesting that he would be the only one offended by the plot of “Call Me By Your Name,” a Best Picture nominee about a gauzy romance between a 17-year-old boy and an adult man.

The actor playing the boy, Timothee Chalamet, was nominated for Best Actor.

“Timothee is the star of a small but powerful story called ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ which did not make a lot of money. In fact, of the nine Best Picture nominees, only two of them made more than $100 million,” said Mr. Kimmel in his opening monologue.

“But that’s not the point. We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence,” he quipped.

The Republican Pence has never commented publicly on the movie, but others have denounced its gauzy portrayal of the teen-adult romance, include actor Corey Feldman, an outspoken foe of pedophilia in the movie industry.

Mr. Feldman, who has said for years that he was sexually abused as a teenager in Hollywood, erupted in November after being told the Sony Pictures Classic film didn’t include “child grooming.”

“Really? Have U seen it? What’s it about then? How do U justify a grown man starting a relationship w someone’s child?” tweeted Mr. Feldman.

Also raising objections to the film was Gabe Hoffman, co-producer of “An Open Secret,” a 2014 documentary about sexual exploitation of underage actors by adult insiders in Hollywood.

“We think it’s at least questionable, and at worst glorifying pedophilia,” said Mr. Hoffman.

The criticism didn’t prevent “Call Me By Your Name,” which co-stars 31-year-old Armie Hammer as the graduate student who has an affair with the teen, from garnering three Academy Award nominations.

Mr. Kimmel even made a joke during the awards ceremony about the youthful-looking Chalamet’s age. Mr. Chalamet turned 22 in December.

“Timothee is missing ‘Paw Patrol’ to be here tonight. Don’t worry, Ryder and his team of pups save the day,” quipped Mr. Kimmel.

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