The Oscars returned with a host for the first time in three years, or in this case, three hosts: Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall. The women made history when they took the stage at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night as it’s the first time three women have hosted the glitzy event.
“The Academy hired three women to host — because it’s cheaper than hiring one man,” joked Schumer at the top of their opening monologue.
The women weren’t shy about getting political, roasting Florida over the state’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill — something that may have made the network uncomfortable.
“We’re going to have a great night tonight, and for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night!” Sykes said, and her co-hosts jumped in and chanted, “Gay! Gay! Gay!”
The Oscars airs on ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company. Disney has been at the center of a public firestorm for its statements — or lack thereof — about the bill, which bars educators from discussing or offering any instruction on gender or LGBTQ topics to students until the fourth grade. Employees have staged walkouts to protest the company’s “funding hate.” The majority of the star-studded attendees at the Oscars applauded, and the camera panned to the likes of Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg, who were seen clapping.
That wasn’t the only political swipe taken during the opening monologue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got a not-so-sweet shoutout.
“You know, this year we saw a frightening display of how toxic masculinity turns into cruelty toward women and children,” declared Hall.
“Damn that Mitch McConnell,” chimed in Sykes.
“You know, I was actually talking about Power of the Dog,” quipped Hall.
“This is kind of sad. You know what’s in the in memoriam package this year? The Golden Globes,” joked Schumer. (Bradley Cooper seemed to enjoy that one.) “They didn’t have any Black people. They didn’t have any Black members.”
The women also made a dig about the Academy’s decision to present some craft categories before the telecast this year.
“As many of you know, a decision was made to present some behind-the-scenes awards in the first hour,” said Schumer.
“It was a difficult and controversial decision, but I think we’ve moved on,” said Sykes, as the lights in the theater started to flicker. Sykes quickly added, “We’re all union!”