Oscars Producers Respond to John Cena’s Nude Scene and Trump’s Tweet About the Ceremony

Minutes before the Oscars were about to kick off, a sense of urgency enveloped the production team. A combination of traffic snarls, pro-Palestine demonstrations, the transition to daylight saving time, and an earlier show start had left some of the most celebrated A-listers and nominees outside the Dolby Theatre’s doors, causing a last-minute scramble.

Molly McNearney, an Oscars producer and executive producer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” shared with Variety that the pressure was on to ensure key celebrities were seated. “The monologue involves direct interactions with these stars, and for the intended comedic effect, their reactions are crucial. We found ourselves waiting on five or six individuals to take their seats, leading us to delay the start by five minutes, which, under the circumstances, seemed minor,” she explained.

The importance of having stars like Lily Gladstone, Ryan Gosling, Cillian Murphy, Margot Robbie, Robert Downey Jr., and Martin Scorsese seated was paramount, as they were featured in host Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue.

Rob Mills, the executive vice president of unscripted and alternative entertainment at Walt Disney Television, recounted the tense moments leading up to the live broadcast. “At 6:54 PM Eastern Time, we were still missing about half of the mentioned celebrities. This led us to decide on a slight delay,” he said. The producers communicated frantically, updating each other as stars hurried towards their seats. “It was a nail-biting experience, akin to landing a plane without certainty that the landing gear would deploy,” Mills added.

The delay allowed for an extended red carpet show and a longer commercial break, which puzzled some viewers but was a boon for the network’s advertising slots. “It turned out to be a positive for our ad inventory, and it gave us a chance to promote the return of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,'” Mills quipped.

Despite the initial hiccup, the show began to catch up to its schedule. McNearney noted, “I was bracing for us to run over time, given the packed schedule of awards, performances, and tributes. But surprisingly, we found ourselves ahead. This was a welcome development, especially for Jimmy, who thrives with a bit of extra time.”

The evening also saw a spontaneous moment when Kimmel decided to read a critical post from Donald Trump about the show being “boring.” Despite McNearney’s initial reservations about giving Trump airtime during the Oscars, Kimmel’s instinct to include the jab paid off, drawing laughter and applause from the audience.

Behind the scenes, the Oscars team navigated various challenges, including John Cena’s “nude” appearance, which underwent a rigorous review process to ensure compliance with FCC standards. The decision to pre-tape Messi the dog’s clapping after he became overly excited during rehearsals and the choice to streamline Al Pacino’s presentation of the Best Picture award were among the calculated moves to maintain the show’s pace and engagement.

As the night concluded, the team reflected on the successful execution of the event, despite the unforeseen obstacles and last-minute adjustments. Whether McNearney and Kimmel will return for another year remains uncertain, but their contributions to this year’s Oscars have left an indelible mark on the storied history of the awards ceremony.