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Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel under fire for gags about 'foreign' names

Kimmel… getting heat for Mahershala Ali pronunciation gags – Credit: AP
Kimmel… getting heat for Mahershala Ali pronunciation gags – Credit: AP

Flack for Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel is starting to build online over a series of remarks he made over foreign-sounding names at the ceremony.

Most notably, the talk show host decided that Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali’s name was worthy of singling out.

Ali scooped Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Moonlight’, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture (eventually).

(Credit: AFP)
(Credit: AFP)

But despite Ali picking up this honour, many have slammed Kimmel for needless gags about how to pronounce his name.

At one point, he made the audience pronounce his name in unison.

Then, following Ali’s acceptance speech for his Oscar, during which he paid tribute to his wife and newly-born daughter, Kimmel chose the moment to discuss how he ‘can’t name her Amy’.

Kimmel also made fun of another seemingly foreign-sounding name, during the section of the show when a group of unsuspecting tourists were ushered into the ceremony as a candid skit.

Asking one woman her name, she replied ‘Yulerie’.

When her husband replied that his name was ‘Patrick’, he replied ‘Now that’s a name’, appearing to imply that his wife’s was not.

While he may have enjoyed pointing out the unusual nature of some names, perhaps Kimmel is on less than steady footing himself, as some Twitter users were keen to point out.

Other viewers, meanwhile, found the moment he decided to lift Sunny Pawar, the child star of ‘Lion’, up in front of the audience like in the movie ‘The Lion King’, a little on the nose too.

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