At the Oscars, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act is the butt of a joke


HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Co-hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall speak onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theater on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The co-hosts of the 94th Academy Awards have taken aim at Florida’s Parents’ Rights in Education Act, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The first political salvo at Sunday night’s Los Angeles Oscars came in the opening monologue, when Wanda Sykes – one of the show’s three hosts – took a thinly veiled jab at the so-called Bill Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” which passed a Republican-controlled state legislature earlier this month.

“We’re going to have a great night tonight,” the openly gay Sykes said. “And for you in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night.”

She and fellow hosts Amy Schumer and Regina Hall then repeated the word “gay” multiple times, as many in the crowd as Denzel Washington and Nicole Kidman smiled and clapped happily.

The bill, which passed earlier this month and was strongly championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Its passage by Florida lawmakers dismissed a wave of criticism from Democrats that it marginalizes LGBTQ people.

It was fiercely opposed by LGBTQ advocates, the White House, and many players in the entertainment industry.

The shooting of the Florida Bill wasn’t the only political jab the hosts took in their opening monologue.

“This year we’ve seen a chilling display of how toxic masculinity turns into cruelty to women and children,” Hall said.

“Damn that Mitch McConnell,” Sykes replied.

Hall said she was just making a line on Oscar-nominated “The Power of the Dog.”

And they didn’t just target politics as a joke to open the show: The trio also shed light on the controversial decision to present eight Oscars before the show, basketball star LeBron James’ hairline and even the Golden Globes.


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