2023 Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel Mocks Will Smith Slap, Batgirl, and Avatar to Kick Off Academy Awards

The 95th Academy Awards took place Sunday night in Hollywood with Jimmy Kimmel stepping up for his third time hosting Hollywood's biggest night when the film industry comes together to celebrate the best of the previous year in movies. Kimmel kicked off the telecast with a monologue that not only celebrated film but poked a little bit of good-natured fun at the industry as well — including a few nods to the box office, Batgirl's cancellation, Avatar: The Way of Water, and the infamous incident that has come to define last year's ceremony when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.

"It was a very good year for movies. Business is booming. I know people like to debate now which is better, movies or TV? But here's the thing, no matter how good a show is, there are some things movies could do that TV just can't. For example, a TV show can't lose $100 million. Is the gang from Babylon here? They know. I was just asking if they were here, I was just welcoming," Kimmel said. "At least Babylon got released. In August, Batgirl became the first superhero to be defeated by an accounting department. And then we had the big one; the long, long, long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water. Which gave the director, the producer Jim Cameron another opportunity to do what he loves to do more than anything else: drowning Kate Winslet. ... James Cameron is not here, by the way, tonight. You know a show is too long when even James Cameron can't sit through it. Some of the cynics are saying Jim Cameron isn't here because he didn't get a Best Director nomination and, while I find that very hard to believe about a man of such deep humility, he does have a point. I mean, how does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar? What do they think is, a woman? ... It was some year for diversity and inclusion. We have nominees from every corner of Dublin. Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up."

As many will recall, Batgirl was shelved last year by Warner Bros. so that it could be used as a tax write down despite the film being in post-production. As for the slap, Kimmel made reference to the slap once again later in his monologue, more directly referencing the incident near the end when he noted that the Academy has a crisis team in place — while also making a crack about "getting jiggy wit it", a reference to one of Smith's hit songs.

"We know this is a special night for you. We want you to have fun. We want you to feel safe. And, most importantly, we want me to feel safe. So, we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech. No, but seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place. If anything, unpredictable or violent happens during this ceremony, just do what you did last year: nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug," he said. "And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy wit' it, it's not gonna be easy. There's a few of my friends you're gonna have to get through first. You have to get through the heavyweight champ, Adonis Creed, before you get to me. You're gonna have to do battle with Michelle Yeoh before you get to me. You're gonna have to get through the Mandalorian before you get to me. You're gonna have to tangle with Spider-Man. You are gonna have to tangle with Fabelman. And then you're gonna have to go through my right-hand man Guillermo if you wanna get up to this stage."

What did you think about Kimmel's opening monologue at this year's Academy Awards?