Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is used to putting celebrities on the spot in his popular “Mean Tweets” segments, but this time he was the victim.
Last week, Kimmel strayed from his usual schtick for a moment to deliver a heartfelt message on his views regarding vaccinations. Kimmel, the father of an eight month old daughter, is adamantly pro-vaccination. Jimmy’s stance on the matter seemed to rattle the nerves of anti-vaccination proponents, however.
Several tweets Kimmel shared with the audience contained expletives, while others accused him of being paid off by the corporations that produce vaccinations. Jimmy took it in stride, commenting on the cleverness of some and audibly laughing at others.
In true typical Kimmel fashion though, the talk show host couldn’t pass up the opportunity to continue to poke fun at those whom he disagrees with. “In the interest of fairness, we sent our community activist team, Jack and Becky, out to the street.”
Of course, Jimmy Kimmel fans knew they were in for a treat rather than a serious counterargument when he described his anti-vaccination representatives as the parents who “went to the World Series to ask parents to sign a petition to remove the word ‘peanuts’ from the song ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ because their son is allergic to peanuts.”
Watch it here.
The vaccination debate rose to the surface recently, with a nationwide measles outbreak linked to Disneyland in January. Since then, several states have introduced legislation to make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.
While the most prominent celebrity on the subject of vaccinations may be Jenny McCarthy for her outspoken belief that inoculations caused her son to develop autism, Jimmy Kimmel is surprisingly joined by many celebrities who are pro-vaccination, including Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, and Bill Gates. Of course, these other celebrities don’t have the luxury (or curse) of being able to share their views on a nightly program the way Jimmy Kimmel does.
Being controversial is nothing new for Kimmel. In 2013, he drew protests and a cry for his firing after airing a segment involving unscripted conversations with children, in which a child suggested we should “kill everyone in China.” This resulted in an apology from both ABC and Kimmel, and the removal of the “Kids Table” segments from all future Jimmy Kimmel Live episodes.
While opinions on current events are not uncommon in daytime talk shows like The View, some have to wonder if Jimmy Kimmel missed the mark introducing the topic on his late night venue.
What do you think? Should talk show hosts like Jimmy Kimmel keep their opinions to themselves?
[Image courtesy of Frederick Brown/Getty Images]