Jimmy Kimmel's "let's bring some people who don't know they're going to the Oscars" bit was funny in parts, but there was one moment during the charade that people (including myself) really didn't love. Why did Kimmel have to make fun of one of the participants names on the Academy Awards?
The set up was this — Kimmel brought in a group of people from a tour bus that thought they were going to some exhibit or something. Instead, they showed up at the Oscars, right into the middle of the main show. Fun!
Well, it was fun and mostly harmless games — we met Gary from Chicago and his fiancée, Shelly was really nervous, etc., but it all went south for me when Kimmel asked one of the participants her name — it was Ulery, pronounced to rhyme with jewelry — and he made of it to her face. Her husband's name was Patrick, which Kimmel declared "a name." I'm not sure why her name was not also "a name." Was it because it wasn't something traditional and American like "Patrick" or "Michelle" or "Jimmy"? Probably. New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum echoed my sentiments on the bit, tweeting this soon after:
You can watch a video of the skit below:
To make fun of someone else's name that you've never heard of before is just another way to "other" someone that is different than you. It's really not hard to learn someone's name and then not comment on it, is it? Kimmel did something similar with Mahershala Ali's name early in the broadcast, and it was tired then and it's tired now. Let's move onto something that's actually funny, shall we?