Jimmy Kimmel’s 2024 Oscars opening paid big respect to union workers

Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars Monologue Supports Hollywood’s Labor Unions

Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue for the 2024 Oscars started out pretty run-of-the-mill. There were jokes about how Killers of the Flower Moon was long enough to “drive to Oklahoma and solve the murders yourself,” a Madame Web shoutout, and a pretty good topical gag about the viral Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union address last week. But then Kimmel ended his monologue on something remarkable: a quippy, yet sincere and full-throated speech in support of Hollywood’s labor unions.

Jokes and Recognition for Hollywood’s Labor Unions

After the late-night host got some ribbing on the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes last year with laugh lines both corny (“If a movie premieres at The Grove and no actors are there to support it, does Mario Lopez make a sound?”) and shockingly barbed (making it clear he wasn’t shouting out the Director’s Guild of America, who “folded immediately”), Kimmel pivoted to sincerity. Hollywood, Kimmel said, “is at its heart, a union town,” and then proceeded to extend gratitude to the below the line labor unions: the truck drivers, Teamsters, and IATSE union members who supported striking Hollywood talent, calling for those present to support the IATSE in their ongoing negotiations with the studios).

Union Disputes and Support for IATSE

Last summer’s Hollywood work stoppage began with the Writer’s Guild of America beginning what would be a 148-day strike in May, and continued when SAG-AFTRA, the actor’s union, went on strike two months later, on July 14, for 118 days. At the heart of both union disputes with the studios were protections governing the use of artificial intelligence, as Kimmel noted by way of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts joke.

Demonstration of Solidarity

Kimmel then called many of those union workers on stage in a genuinely moving demonstration of solidarity, closing out with one final joke: “I’m gonna make sure this show runs long so you get a ton of overtime.”