Jimmy Kimmel Likely Won't Name-Check Aaron Rodgers in Oscars Monologue, Says Athlete Has to Reach Out to Him

"We have some major differences in the way we think," the late-night host said ahead of his gig hosting the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday

<p>Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty; Megan Briggs/Getty</p> Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers

Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty; Megan Briggs/Getty

Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers

The 2024 Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday, and returning host Jimmy Kimmel is previewing what film fans can expect in his opening monologue.

When asked by CNN if he'd bring up New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers — who previously erroneously claimed the comedian had ties to deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — Kimmel quipped, “Uh, I don’t know who that is.”

Related: Jimmy Kimmel Says Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce Jokes 'Not Off-Limits' at Oscars but 'Probably Played Out'

Back in January, Kimmel denied the claims on X (formerly Twitter) and demanded an apology from the NFL star, 40, after Rodgers alleged that Kimmel would be named in court documents connected to the Epstein case.

Two months later, as Sunday's big ceremony nears, Kimmel told CNN it isn’t likely that he’ll make a joke about Rodgers.

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty Images</p> Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023

Kimmel also said he will “probably not” have the one-time Super Bowl champion on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in the foreseeable future. 

“The way I look at it, the next step is for Aaron Rodgers to reach out to me — not the other way around," he said. "So, I don’t see that happening.”

He added, “Listen, we have some major differences in the way we think.”

Related: Aaron Rodgers Doesn't Apologize to Jimmy Kimmel, Says His Claims About Jeffrey Epstein Were Misunderstood

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Jimmy Kimmel at the premiere of 'The Greatest Night in Pop' on Jan. 29, 2024

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Jimmy Kimmel at the premiere of 'The Greatest Night in Pop' on Jan. 29, 2024

Kimmel previously threatened legal action back when Rodgers first accused him of being named in documents that were to be released in January and stemmed from a 2015 lawsuit involving the disgraced financier (who died by suicide while awaiting trial on federal conspiracy and sex trafficking charges) and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.

The late-night host posted on X at the time, “Dear Aa--hole: for the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein, nor will you find my name on any ‘list’ other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality. Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court.”

Later on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he further denied the allegations and suggested Rodgers should have the same consideration and fact-checking skills that his team of writers has when crafting jokes about public-facing figures.

Related: Jimmy Kimmel Calls Upon Aaron Rodgers to Apologize for Jeffrey Epstein Claim: ‘He Probably Won’t Do That’

<p>ABC/Getty</p> Jimmy Kimmel at the 95th Academy Awards on Mar. 12, 2023


Jimmy Kimmel at the 95th Academy Awards on Mar. 12, 2023

Kimmel also admitted that he apologizes if he gets something wrong. He added, "Which is what Aaron Rodgers should do. Which is what a decent person would do, but I bet he won't. If he does, you know what I'll do? I'll accept his apology and move on, but he probably won't do that. My guess is that he won't apologize. I hope I'm wrong."

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Kimmel takes the Oscars stage for the fourth time at this weekend's ceremony at the Dolby Theatre Hollywood in Los Angeles. This year, Oppenheimer leads with the nominations with 13 nods. The film is among the nominees for Best Picture, along with American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Past Lives, Poor Things and The Zone of Interest

The 96th annual Academy Awards will air live Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ABC.

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