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Jimmy Kimmel fesses up over the Oscars donkey ruse: ‘We hired an L.A. donkey’

A man wearing formalwear holds the leash on a donkey onstage.
Host Jimmy Kimmel appears onstage with a donkey at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on March 12.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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We told you that wasn’t Jenny.

Jimmy Kimmel confessed: Jenny the donkey didn’t fly from Ireland to the Oscars on Sunday night. That was Dominic the donkey, and he’s from L.A.

“We had a donkey — a live donkey — Jenny the donkey, from ‘The Banshees of Inisherin.’ That was our emotional support donkey last night,” Kimmel said on Monday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

“Everybody was super excited to see her, but then that stirred up some controversy,” he continued. “The L.A. Times said, ‘No that wasn’t really Jenny the donkey from “The Banshees of Inisherin”’; the New York Post said, ‘“Banshees of Inisherin” Jenny the donkey Oscars cameo was a fraud’; and Vulture [said], ‘Jenny the donkey’s Oscar cameo was all a fraud.’ And I have to say it’s true.

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“It wasn’t Jenny. It wasn’t even a female donkey. The donkey’s name is Dominic. It was a male donkey. We didn’t think it was a good idea to fly a donkey over from Ireland, so we hired an L.A. donkey. Maybe you noticed the lip fillers and the implants.”

In the end, Kimmel apologized for the donkey ruse.

“But to anyone who was upset that they didn’t get to see the bona fide donkey, we’re very sorry,” the host said. “I wanna apologize on behalf of the academy. It will never happen again. I promise.”

While hosting this year’s 95th Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel walked a donkey wearing a sequined emotional support vest onto the Dolby Theatre stage, claiming it was Jenny, the beloved donkey from “Banshees of Inisherin.” But it was an impostor.

“This is Jenny, she’s one of the stars of ‘Banshees of Inisherin,’” Kimmel said on Sunday. “Not only is Jenny an actor, she’s a certified emotional support donkey, or at least that’s what we told the airline to get her on the plane from Ireland. So if you’re feeling upset, or you didn’t win or you’re anxious or you just love mules, feel free to come up and give her a hug.”

Donkeys this season carried two films on their backs: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ and ‘EO.’ So where are their flowers? Or, maybe carrots?

Feb. 7, 2023

“And Jenny, I want you to see there’s your friend Colin right there,” Kimmel said, pointing to Colin Farrell, who was nominated for his first Oscar for lead actor. Brendan Fraser won for his performance in “The Whale.”

Farrell blew a kiss to Jenny and looked genuinely excited to see the donkey, almost jumping out of his seat to greet his recent co-star.

“Let’s get you back on that Spirit Airlines flight now, huh?” Kimmel said to the Jenny stand-in.

The 2023 Oscar winners include “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh and “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

March 12, 2023

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Backstage, the director of “Banshees of Inisherin,” Martin McDonagh, revealed that they had used a stand-in, saying, “It wasn’t Jenny. We never would have allowed that to happen.”

And Kerry Condon, who was nominated for the supporting actress Oscar for her role in “The Banshees of Inisherin” said, “No! All the way from Ireland? ’Course not!”

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