“When is a joke not a joke?”
Jimmy Kimmel ‘apologizes’ to Sean Hannity
ABC mum on Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump insults as network honcho touts pro-Trump ‘Roseanne’ success
ABC is remaining silent as outrage builds over Jimmy Kimmel’s recent jokes about First Lady Melania Trump that don’t exactly jibe with the network’s family-friendly image.
That’s becoming a bit of a pattern for ABC, which also kept mum when ABC News star Joy Behar insulted Christians on “The View” and more recently when controversies swirled around two of the network’s most expensive stars, Katy Perry and Ryan Seacrest.
The Kimmel controversy started last week when the fiercely anti-Trump comedian mocked the First Lady’s Slovenian accent. After Kimmel was criticized for his mockery by Fox News host Sean Hannity, Kimmel responded with a series of vile and obscene tweets. Kimmel has since issued a statement, but not everyone sees it as a sincere apology.
An online petition calling for a boycott of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has now tripled its original goal of 50,000 signatures. Over 150,000 people have signed the petition, which accuses Kimmel of showing “true bigotry” by mocking the First Lady’s accent after she read to children during the White house Easter Egg Roll.
ABC did not respond to a request for comment on the petition.
Kimmel didn’t simply make fun of the Melania’s accent, he also proclaimed that she didn’t do “one thing” to help set up the event that is historically hosted by the First Lady. Organizers say the petition will eventually be sent to “the front door of Disney/ABC Studios” Burbank, Calif.
Yet while beleaguered ABC President Ben Sherwood remains silent on Kimmel, he eagerly rolled himself out to The New York Times after the successful return of pro-Trump “Roseanne.”
Sherwood claimed that ABC executives had a meeting the morning after the 2016 electionabout how they could better reach Middle America. However, as Fox News reported earlier, “Roseanne” is an outlier at reliably liberal ABC.
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News that the Kimmel situation is a “reminder that there are no rules for liberals” when it comes to offensive rhetoric.
“There are no repercussions,” Gainor said. “The broadcast networks simply don’t care about their conservative viewers. They don’t care if those viewers patronize their advertisers. They just care about pushing a left-wing message. One ‘Roseanne’ show can’t undo dozens of incidents that treat the right as the enemy.”
Sherwood has been constantly trumpeting Kimmel for years, including championing the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” star to host the Oscars, not once but twice. When Sherwood was president of ABC News, he reportedly supported the network moving Kimmel’s low-rated late night show into the more favorable time slot long occupied by ABC News’ “Nightline” — much to the dismay of ABC News staffers.
‘There needs to be some signal from [ABC] network hierarchy that they expect Kimmel to tone it down’
Media analyst Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “ABC should certainly make some public comment about Kimmel’s poor judgment,” because the comedian was “quite out of line” in an era where we respect and appreciate people from different backgrounds.
“There needs to be some signal from network hierarchy that they expect Kimmel to tone it down,” McCall said. “Maybe ABC figures it can get all the audience it needs without the Trump supporters, but this kind of cheap material likely also offends many other viewers who just want some civility in comedy.”
The stony silence from ABC regarding offensive comments by stars like Kimmel and Behar may be detracting from its self-proclaimed Middle American programming strategy.
“If ABC wants conservative viewers, it needs to treat the right with some respect,” Gainor said. (More)
The two hosts got into a Twitter spat over Kimmel aired a segment mocking First Lady Melania Trump and her accent.
After back-and-forth feud on Twitter last week between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity, the Fox News host responded to the late-night comic’s apology to First Lady Melania Trump for mocking her accent on his program.
Hannity, on his show Monday, said Kimmel was “bullying” the First Lady. “I read [Kimmel’s] apology carefully,” Hannity said. “A couple of things are clear to me. On the surface, it seems to be a forced, Disney apology directed to the LGBT community rather than Kimmel’s comments about the First Lady.”
Hannity was likely referring to Kimmel’s comments in his apology in which he said, “By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community.” Kimmel had previously tweeted to Hannity, “When your clown makeup rubs off on Trump’s ass, does it make his butt look like a Creamsicle?”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 8, 2018
Following Kimmel mocking Melania for reading a children’s book to kids at the White House Easter Egg Roll, Hannity criticized the ABC host, saying, “The first lady of the United States is not going to get into a feud with a late-night, low-rated talk show host like Jimmy Kimmel. She can’t. If she does, it’s not going to end well for her. So, he knows he has a free, open target.”
On Sunday, Kimmel posted a lengthy statement apologizing for the “silly aside” and saying that the “level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone, and in fact, is harmful to our country.”
“I think every person should accept apologies, and that’s what I’m going to do here,” Hannity said on his show Monday. This was never about Hannity vs. Jimmy Kimmel, here’s why: The level of vitriol against President Trump and his family is really sickening. Attacking the first lady for her accent is just one small example, but its a line in the sand for me. Those cheap shots need to end.”
Hannity then invited Kimmel to come on his show, where he promised there would be “no name-calling.” He also said that if Kimmel decided to reignite the feud that he would “punch back even harder.”