You would think, given the current wave of sexual assaults and harassment coming out of the world of Hollywood and Entertainment, that they would turn down their need to be the morality police of the noncoastal part of America that didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Well, you would be wrong. A couple of months ago, I wrote about how Late Night Comedy Stop Being About Comedy and instead has become an outlet for progressive talking points. Given the several times Hillary Clinton has been on Seth Myers and Stephen Colbert the last couple of months, you think she would start sitting with the band during the opening monologue. But there is one ‘late-night comedian’ who has gone far past the line of comedy to the point where he is no longer making headlines because of his jokes but making headlines by becoming the story itself and that is Jimmy Kimmel.
To say the election of Donald Trump made a few people in the self-built echo chamber of Hollywood a little unhinged is like saying Stalin starved a few of his citizens. One person who has used his platform of late-night to stage war against the Trump Administration and other Conservatives is Kimmel, who has made more headlines being the face of the resistance than the face of ABC late night. You have to go back to a few months ago when Kimmel used his show to lobby against the potential repeal of Obamacare from Congress. In order to do this, he used the story of his sick son to demand not only republicans refuse to repeal Obamacare, but also advocated for a single payer, healthcare for all system. While many were sympathetic to Kimmel’s personal ordeal, they also felt it was in bad taste to use his son to fight the healthcare repeal pointing out that his call for single payer would not have guaranteed the survival of his son like cases such as Charlie Gard showed.
But Kimmel’s crusade didn’t end there, According to The Daily Beast, he later teamed up with Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to lobby against other proposed Obamacare repeals over the summer and had a very public feud with Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (LA) to repeal and replace Obamacare. Kimmel slammed Cassidy, Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade, and other Republicans on Wednesday night for their criticism of his commentary against the Graham-Cassidy bill. At this point, many people then accused Kimmel of becoming a propaganda tool and not a late night comedian including many of his former fans if you have followed him since his Man Show days.
Kimmel in the face of new criticism has refused to back off his new approach, after making another emotional appeal for Gun Control after the Las Vegas Mass Shooting, he told CBS Sunday Morning,
“I’m nobody’s moral arbiter. You don’t have to watch the show. You don’t have to listen to what I say,”
Which is a very interesting take to have for a late night comedian whose job is to get as many people watching his program as possible. He then went on to say when asked if he was concerned about Republicans boycotting his show,
“I don’t say I don’t mind,” Kimmel said. “I want everyone with a television to watch the show, but if they’re so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence, then … I probably wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them anyway.” “Well, not good riddance, but riddance,” Kimmel said, laughing.
Drawing his line in the sand, Kimmel made his bed and laid in it and once again this week Kimmel made more headlines, this time targeting Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been in the headlines as the target of allegations stemming from the 1970s about Moore sleeping with underage teenage girls while in his 30s. The war of words began when “Jimmy Kimmel Live” regular comedian Tony Barbieri, flew down to Alabama to interrupt a Wednesday night church service where Moore was speaking. Kimmel and Moore then exchanged heated words on Twitter which led to more late night attacks on his show. It is interesting that Kimmel chooses Roy Moore to take the fight against sexual assault, as he claims, as the majority of the sexual assault and harassment accusations are coming from people within his inner circle of entertainment. Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Russell Simmons are some of the recent names to break out over allegations of sexual misconduct and all have been fired for it. In Washington, Al Franken and John Conyers have been under the light of past allegations recently too. But none of those people have a pending election coming up.
It’s clear that unlike Stephen Colbert and Seth Myers, who get a kick out of mocking the news cycle, Kimmel gets a kick out of becoming the news cycle. Despite his ratings being the lowest of his timeslot against guys like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel has no intentions of backing off and doesn’t care if you watch or not. Whether late night activism pays off, in the long run, is up to the viewers, but as Lee Habeeb from LifeZette put it
“Jimmy, we need more laughs in this world and fewer political rants and lectures. Here is one fan hoping you’ll return to that space again.”