The 2023 Oscars were bound to be a mostly civilized affair because, and this is sheer speculation, that’s the natural bounce-back reaction the year after an Oscar nominee-about-to-be-turned-winner hauls off and Slaps the host. This year, the emphasis was on the awards with a few sparse moments raising eyebrows. Surely, the actual Slap jokes could have gone a lot further.
One (unrelated) joke may have gone too far, according to some people, although other people couldn’t help but snort-laugh. That would be Jimmy Kimmel’s nearly offhanded mention of a phone-in poll to ask viewers if Beretta and In Cold Blood star Robert Blake should be included in the customary “In Memoriam” section of the broadcast. Blake, of course, remained a controversial figure — due to being criminally acquitted but held civilly liable in his wife’s 2001 death — up until his death late last week at age 89.
Andrew Garfield’s instant meme face (from earlier in the broadcast) became a handy social media reaction when Kimmel offered his most incendiary joke of the evening.
Very quickly, people reacted. Blake passed only a few days ago, so perhaps it’s too soon? A vocal contingent, however, enjoyed the morbid nature of the joke, both despite and in spite of its savageness.
unfortunately i did laugh at the robert blake joke
— karen han (@karenyhan) March 13, 2023
Robert Blake In Memoriam joke made me laugh out loud
— Brett ______ (@BrettRedacted) March 13, 2023
Perfect Robert Blake joke, actually. Sorry, “oooh-ing” audience that thinks you’re at weekend update
— Kevin McCaffrey (@KevinMcCaff) March 13, 2023
Ok the joke about including Robert Blake made me chortle #Oscars
— Eugenia Forced Birth State Beh 白芷各民 (@ebeh) March 13, 2023
That Robert Blake joke was wild
— negative nelly (@panhalfrican) March 13, 2023
Jimmy Kimmel spit out that Robert Blake joke with pure, unfiltered glee. #Oscar
— Mike Avila (@mikeavila) March 13, 2023
Still, others were not fans of the joke and did feel that it should have been skipped and/or Blake should have been included in the segment.
Jimmy Kimmel ‘s comment on whether to include Robert Blake in the memoriam was in poor taste and uncalled for 😵😵
— Billie (What!!!)Dawn (@margoz_1949) March 13, 2023
I think it is outrageous that The Academy Awards – In Memoriam segment did not include Robert Blake. I also think Jimmy Kimmel’s joke was way out of line😡😡😡😡😡
— terry Banks (@terrybanks9704) March 13, 2023
You really left Robert Blake OUT of In Memoriam??? In Cold Blood won the Oscar!!!!!!! WTAF????? #Oscars
— 𝕋𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕦𝕝𝕒𝕙 𝔻𝕒𝕙𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 (@Therealtallula1) March 13, 2023
The crack about Robert Blake fell completely flat and was totally tasteless. The man was 89 and spent many years making movies and in the academy while he was alive. The crack was a cheap shot sorry Jimmie
— Rick Shields (@Rik576) March 13, 2023
Humor applied w/ a chainsaw. Host Kimmel launches fake poll on if Robert Blake should be in the “In Memoriam” segment. No particular prob w/ excluding him, as long as O.J. is likewise left out someday. But for real & as someone who’s experienced him firsthand, um, include him.
— Ed Bark (@unclebarkycom) March 13, 2023
@jimmykimmel just did something gratuitously tasteless, asking viewers to tweet their votes on whether Robert Blake, who just died at 94, should be included in tonight’s In Memoriam segment. I had thought Kimmel had more class.
— Michael Huggins (@MichaelHugg2591) March 13, 2023
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