“A new low for the annual awards show,” TheWrap’s Tony Maglio reported.
Kimmel, who hosted the awards for the third time, used his opening monologue to note how there was no audience at the Emmys this year due to the health and safety procedures in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“This isn’t a MAGA rally, it’s the Emmys. Instead of the live audience, we took a page from baseball and did cardboard cutouts of the nominees,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel hosted a similarly politically charged 2018 Academy Awards, which set an all-time low for the Oscars telecast.
The late-night star, who hosted the Emmy Awards ceremony live from the Staples Center without a crowd, also mocked President Trump as “Schitt’s Creek” won big.
“Schitt’s Creek” is set in the small town of Ontario, Canada of the same name. After a brief return to the show following a commercial break, Kimmel joked: “Trump’s gonna build that wall on the Northern border! Has the president tweeted us yet?”
Kimmel also received some backlash online after making a joke about reporting John Oliver, another late-night host who is from the U.K., to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Earlier this year, Kimmel came under fire for wearing blackface during his tenure hosting “The Man Show” in the early 2000s, most notably while impersonating former NBA star Karl Malone. The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host insisted he has “evolved” since his days on the Comedy Central program.