Considering the war of words that Trump had with some actors in the run-up to the 2017 Oscars, it is hard to accept Trump's claim that his recent observation is a joke.
The numbers were also down in Canada from a year ago, with an average of 4.5 million people watching on CTV, the broadcaster said Monday citing preliminary data from ratings tracker Numeris.
During a year of distress in both the political and entertainment worlds, the Oscars were a reminder of the power and hope of Hollywood.
"President Trump is an expert on low ratings", one tweet read. "Problem is, we don't have Stars anymore - except your President (just kidding, of course)!"
As for the show itself, the Oscars received mostly positive reviews for its host Jimmy Kimmel and its approach to the #MeToo movement and issues of inclusion.
It's the first time the Oscars have drawn fewer than 30 million people, in Nielsen records that go back to 1974. Though some male celebrities showed up wearing Time's Up pins, the awards was already feeling safe and apolitical. Who, in your opinion, should have been awarded, yet wasn't?
The most watched Oscars in history were in 1998. On the flip side, this year's Best Picture, The Shape of Water, has only raked in $57 million since its December 1 opening.
It also tried to strike a balance between the acknowledgment of sexual harassment scandals that Hollywood has suffered from recently and providing an extensive look at the history of moviemaking to mark the Oscars' 90th birthday.
Even with the decline in ratings, however, the Oscars remain special because the telecast is watched live and viewers sit through the commercials. Guillermo del Toro's lavish, full-hearted monster romance "The Shape of Water" swam away with best picture at an Oscar ceremony flooded by a sense of a change for a movie business confronting the post-Harvey Weinstein era.More news: UN Suspects 'Acts of Genocide' Committed against Rohingya in Myanmar