At the Oscars, he called gay.
The first political salvo at Sunday night’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles came in the opening monologue when Wanda Sykes — one of a trio of hosts for the show — took a thinly veiled jab at Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. which passed a Republican-controlled state legislature earlier this month.
“We’re going to have a great night tonight,” said the openly gay Sykes. “And for you guys in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night out.”
He and fellow hosts Amy Schumer and Regina Hall then repeated the word “gay” several times, as many in the crowd such as Denzel Washington and Nicole Kidman smiled and applauded happily.
The bill, which passed earlier this month and has been strongly defended by Gov. Ron DeSantis, forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Its passage by Florida lawmakers sparked criticism from Democrats that it marginalizes LGBTQ people.
It has been strongly opposed by LGBTQ advocates, the White House and many in the entertainment industry.
The shot at the Florida bill wasn’t the only political jab the hosts took in their opening monologue.
“This year we saw a horrifying demonstration of how toxic masculinity turns into cruelty to women and children,” Hall said.
“Damn Mitch McConnell,” Sykes replied.
Hall said she was only setting a line about the Oscar-nominated “The Power of the Dog.”
And they didn’t target politics as mere joke topics to open the show: The trio highlighted the controversial decision to submit eight Oscars before the show, basketball star LeBron James’ hairline and even Golden Globe too.
For more information on Associated Press’s Oscar coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards