Jimmy Kimmel intends to deliver some sly wisecracks about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein when he hosts next year’s Oscars – but he’ll tread warily given that victims of the accused sexual predator may be vying for teh gold-plated awards.
“It’s not really a laughing matter,” the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host says about the rape and sexual assault allegations pouring out against Weinstein in New York magazine out Monday.
“There’ll be a lot of people in that room who maybe have been through experiences with him, and that’s not something I want them to relive on the night they get their Oscar.”
Kimmel hosted this year’s Oscars and is the first comedian since the 1990s who was asked to lead the awards show for the second year in a row.
“The Oscars are so far out,” he tells New York.
“It’s hard to figure out what we’re going to say on the next show, let alone in March. There might not be an Oscars, because North Korea may have struck the Dolby Theatre.”
The Brooklyn-born comic said he didn’t immediately address the Weinstein sexual abuse scandal on his show merely because of timing – and not, as some critics have suggested, because he was trying to protect anybody.
“We do the show Monday through Thursday. I didn’t see the Weinstein story break till shortly before the show started on a Thursday night, and then we had a rerun on Friday, so that’s why it wasn’t mentioned in our monologue,” said the comic.
“I have no interest in protecting Harvey Weinstein. Hopefully, he will get what he deserves and we’ll all move on with our lives.”
Although he made no cracks about Weinstein in the interview, Kimmel did chuckle about how he’s become an avatar for the average white guy.
“There is nothing more disgraceful than being a middle-aged white man. We should all be ashamed of ourselves,” deadpanned Kimmel, 49.
“I was born with a penis to white parents. There’s not much I can do about it. If you’re against discrimination, you should be against all discrimination.”
Kimmel said he uses his show to talk about politics, and hot topics like gun control and health care, because he has been personally affected by the issues.
On April 21, his wife, Molly McNerney, gave birth to Billy, who was diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Emergency surgery, which was covered by his health plan, saved his son’s life.
“It so happened that my son had a heart operation and then my hometown got attacked,” he said, referring to the Las Vegas shooting.
“So that’s what prompted me to speak out in a way that a lot of people noticed, but the truth of the matter is, we have been talking about politics for a very long time.”
This article originally appeared in Page Six.