Two Irish People Are Very Angry at Jimmy Kimmel Over Oscars Joke: FCC
More people watched the Oscars this year compared to 2022, and nearly all 19.9 million people who tuned in likely enjoyed the ceremony and Jimmy Kimmel’s dry, sarcastic wit enough to keep their clowning to Twitter. That is, all 19.9 million people except for two viewers who both took offense to Kimmel’s jokes about Irish people and the stereotype that they like to fight. Those people asked to speak with the manager.
“Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the chances of a fight just went way up,” Kimmel joked at one point in the broadcast, referencing Will Smith and Chris Rock’s 2022 onstage altercation. But that was just too much for two individuals who took it upon themselves to complain to the FCC.
“I am personally insulted by him saying this because I am Irish American, among other ethnicities, and do not just fight anyone, especially men,” one disgruntled viewer from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, wrote. “Not only was I insulted if the writers wrote this line (showing a blatant lack of creativity) but also the fact that Jimmy Kimmel did not take the opportunity to adlib and correct the line with his own comment (showing his blatant lack of creativity as well). For all the trouble that I go through in life, and how much she [sic] potentially made from that comment, I think Jimmy Kimmel should be fired from ABC and never shown on television again.” This person titled their complaint, “Insult to Irish.”
Another viewer — who might not even be eligible to complain to the FCC because they live in Canada — was equally offended. “[His] comments about Irish people were offensive as well as joking about the death of an actor (the late Mr. Robert Blake #RIP) and I felt that this was distateful [sic] for his family,” the person wrote. “There were many other comments as well that discriminated. I live in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada across from Sault Ste Marie, Michigan but could not put my home address as it appears that you only take concerns from the USA. I did want to voice my concern as we pay to watch American TV. I have never put in a complaint before but felt compelled to do so.”
These were the only two complaints the FCC received for the 95th Academy Awards, according to the results of Rolling Stone’s FOIA request. “The FCC receives many complaints and comments that do not involve violations of the Communications Act or any FCC rule or order,” the commission notes. “Thus, a complaint or comment does not necessarily indicate any wrongdoing by any individuals or entities named in the complaint or comment.”
The two people who complained to the FCC weren’t totally alone, though. Liam Neeson said he felt Kimmel’s jokes were “a bit racist.” And Kimmel’s Irish quips also rankled some radio hosts at RTE in Ireland. “It just hasn’t gone down well,” RTE’s Lottie Ryan said, according to WFMZ. “It’s not just Jimmy Kimmel that writes these scripts and jokes. There is a whole team that puts these things together. Ireland was kind of the butt of the joke, you know? There was reference to the fighting Irish.”
The nominated Irish included Best Actor nominees Paul Mescal and Colin Farrell, for Aftersun and The Banshees of Inisherin, respectively; Best Supporting Actor nominees Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan (Banshees); and Best Supporting Actress nominee Kerry Condon (Banshees).
Farrell joked back with Kimmel at the awards show. When Kimmel asked him about his performance, Farrell said, “I’d like you to go on YouTube, check out SNL last night, and you’ll have a good idea.” The Saturday Night Live sketch featured Mikey Day and Molly Kearney playing Farrell and Gleeson speaking incomprehensibly before shouting out their teams “at CAA” on the red carpet before interviewer Mario Lopez (Marcello Hernandez) deadpanned, “And they haven’t even started drinking yet.”