During the Oscars this Sunday, there will be at least one person in your Twitter feed who believes their opinions on the proceedings to be of the utmost importance. You know, the one who offers unsolicited criticisms of everything, from the stage design to the speeches to the actual films, as though the world were waiting with bated breath to hear their take.
US president Donald Trump has been among these self-appointed Twitter pundits in years past. Before he controlled the nuclear codes, he blessed his followers with non-stop analysis during the Oscars telecast and then did the same for viewers of the morning talk shows the next day.
This year, now that he’s the president, Trump will not be watching the Oscars—at least according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. That may or may not not stop him from offering his pronouncements.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Academy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 26) at 8:30pm US Eastern time on ABC. Let’s take a look back at some memorable tidbits of Trump’s Oscars analysis:
Defending Ryan Seacrest’s honor
On the red carpet in 2012, TV host Ryan Seacrest was interviewing comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who was in character promoting his movie The Dictator, when Cohen pretended to accidentally spill an urn filled with the “ashes” of recently deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il all over Seacrest. Always a professional, Seacrest played it cool and shrugged off the prank, but Donald Trump would not so quickly forget it.
Trump posted a video onto his YouTube channel attacking the “disgraceful” Cohen, and also apparently taking issue with how the security guard responded to the situation. Trump’s rant quickly devolves into a violent fantasy about Cohen being punched in the face so many times that he’s sent to the hospital.
Donald Trump: Oscars after-party analyst
In that same video, Trump offers his thoughts on Vanity Fair’s post-Oscars party, which he did not attend. Trump says it was “boring” and that “people were sleeping” and “there was no good feeling.”
He then contends that the “boring” party was “symblomatic” (which is not a word) of the magazine’s declining stature.
Django Unchained was “racist”
After the 2013 ceremony, Trump phoned into the daily morning Fox News program Fox & Friends to gift the world his thoughts on the Oscars telecast the night before.
Trump’s chief criticism was that Quentin Tarantino’s slavery revenge film Django Unchained was “probably one of the most racist movies I’ve ever seen.” Trump does not explain what he found racist in the film.
Expert on event production
But Trump doesn’t just review the Oscar-nominated films—he reviews the event as a whole. Also in that appearance on Fox & Friends, Trump calls the 2013 telecast and its set: “very average,” “okay,” “tacky,” and “terrible.”
In subsequent years, Trump lambasted everything from the stage design to the singing to the annual “In Memoriam” segment.
A logical take on Argo
Hidden among Trump’s years of piping hot Oscars takes is one criticism that actually made some sense. Trump was very upset that Ben Affleck, who acted in and directed Argo, did not receive a nomination for best director, despite his film winning best picture. It’s fairly sound logic—did Argo direct itself?—and Trump is not the only one who felt Affleck was snubbed.
Complaints about non-Americans working in Hollywood
Trump is at his xenophobic best when talking about the Oscars. He was highly critical of English actor Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as US president Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, mostly because he thought the actor’s accent was detectable.
“He’s not from this country,” Trump complained on Fox & Friends in 2012. ”I don’t think Lincoln had an English accent, to the best of my knowledge.”
And then Trump went from pundit to historian: “Lincoln never sounded like that,” he said. “I just don’t think that Lincoln behaved like that. He talked very, very slowly.” Lincoln, of course, died several years before humans created the ability to record sound, but Trump seemed pretty certain about the president’s vocal cadence. Actual historians aren’t so sure.
A few years later, in 2015, Trump expressed his resentment at people from foreign countries winning awards. Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu took home three awards, a fact that caused Trump some annoyance.
“It was a great night for Mexico, as usual,” Trump said, again on Fox & Friends the morning after the Oscars that year. ”Was it that good? I don’t hear that.”
Donald Trump knows a guy who could fix all this
Trump’s only suggestion for improving the Oscars? He should host the event himself.
Who knows? Perhaps in an alternate reality, Trump is hosting the Academy Awards on Sunday, instead of being the president of the United States.