Are We Supposed to Take Jimmy Kimmel’s Pathetic ‘Apology’ Seriously?
On Sunday afternoon, Jimmy Kimmel released a statement hoping to end his heated feud with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Their spat began when Hannity called Kimmel a “despicable disgrace” and an “ass clown” for mocking First Lady Melania Trump‘s accent last Monday night. Kimmel retaliated Thursday night by accusing Hannity of “having an erection” for President Trump.
Hannity then launched a Twitter battle, coining the nickname “Harvey Weinstein Jr.” by invoking numerous clips from Kimmel’s time on The Man Show that depict his not-so-flattering treatment of women as well as a clip of him donning blackface when impersonating pro basketball player Karl Malone. Their intense Twitter exchange continued and continued. Then Hannity opened his show Friday night by blasting the comedian, calling him a “sick, twisted, creepy, perverted weirdo.” Kimmel reacted by accusing Hannity of “slobbering” over Trump. Hannity insisted that he would “NEVER” stop hounding Kimmel unless he apologized to the First Lady.
At one point during their Twitter battle, Kimmel made a homophobic jab at Hannity by implying he and Trump engage in sexual acts, which he has gotten major backlash for.
On that note, here is what Kimmel had to say in response to the criticism:
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 8, 2018
Let’s break it down, shall we?
“While I admit I did have fun with our back and forth, after some thought, I realize 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. Even in 2018, the vile attacks against my wife and wishes for death on my infant son are shocking and I encourage those who made them to give their words and actions thought. I, too, will give my words more thought and recognize my role in inciting their hatefulness.”
For starters, you know you have a weak apology when you victimize yourself. Yes, it is disgusting that Kimmel’s family are the targets of such vicious attacks from anonymous online trolls… but so does virtually every single family of every single public figure in the 21st century. So for him to single himself out and pretend like the hate against his loved ones is unique was a desperate attempt for sympathy. And he waits until now to address the “level of vitriol” in this country? This is the same Jimmy Kimmel who said “riddance” to Republicans who stopped watching his show. So why is he changing his tune now?
This is why:
“By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize.”
His statement about putting “more thought” in what he says wasn’t about his attacks toward Hannity or Melania Trump, it was in reference to the LGBT sector of his viewership. This is obviously damage control for his sophomoric humor that was better suited for The Man Show than it is for modern day social media and his bosses at Disney knew it. After all, who else would force him to delete a tweet showing a photoshopped Hannity being topped by a clown?
Now let’s look at the next part:
“I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady’s accent. Mrs. Trump almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings.”
Many news outlets have misreported that Kimmel apologized for his mockery of Melania Trump. He didn’t. Read the statement. No where in his statement did he actually apologize to the First Lady. All he did was admit that he used her as a prop to increase his ratings. He only apologized to the gay community. And quite oppositely, he defended the joke he made about her and even said he still believes it was “harmless and silly.”
And here’s the grand finale in his so-called “apology”:
“I am hoping that Sean Hannity will learn from this too and continue his newly-found advocacy for women, immigrants, and First Ladies and that he will triumph in his heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion.”
In other words, Kimmel stuffed as many sarcastic digs at the Fox News host as possible all while pretending to take the highroad. Specifically when he referenced Hannity’s “heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion” (a veiled shot at his coziness to Trump, Roger Ailes, and Bill O’Reilly, all who have been accused of sexual misconduct), it was an attempt to cut him down to size after he called him “Harvey Weinstein Jr.” while sharing various Youtube clips of The Man Show.
And it’s worth speculating whether or not Hannity found Kimmel’s Achilles heel.
If you watched the clips Hannity shared, you’d know that none of them aged well in the era of #MeToo. In one clip, Kimmel asks young women to guess what’s in his pants using only their hands. In other clips, he approaches unsuspecting women with a prop erection and asks them if they want to have sex with him. And if a white male comedian attempted blackface today to mock a pro athlete, his career would be finished.
Bestowing the nickname “Harvey Weinstein Jr.” to Kimmel is a serious reach, since comedic sketches from the 90s pale in comparison to the alleged harassment, threats, assaults, and rapes committed by disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. But Hannity revisiting Kimmel’s past arguably had a role in the making of this statement. Kimmel in no way belongs in the same category as other prominent abusers, but despite the consent they gave when signing those release forms, women were demeaned, degraded, and objectified on The Man Show. And perhaps the execs at ABC figured that the longer Hannity kept hounding Kimmel about them, the more it would damage his brand. To put it simply, The Man Show has become a liability for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The feud between Kimmel and Hannity was juvenile and trivial, but this statement proved that Hannity had the upper hand. Kimmel’s cheap shot at the First Lady led him to make homophobic slurs and have his past come back to haunt him. Let’s not pretend that Kimmel was being sincere and is turning a new leaf. Until he restrains his adolescent vitriol for President Trump, his family, and Republicans, I’m calling BS.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.