Tina Fey Defends Jimmy Fallon’s Trump Interview, Discusses Her Efforts To Remain Nonpartisan
Tina Fey, famous comedian and Saturday Night Live alumna, stepped in to express her support for Jimmy Fallon, her former co-comedian, who was criticized for interviewing Donald Trump in a light-hearted way earlier this year.
— #CG????? ????????????? ??» (@carlos_geovane) November 27, 2016
Trump, the former Republican presidential candidate and now president-elect, had drawn flak from all quarters for both his illogical election rhetoric and his alleged misbehavior with a number of women. Most comedy sketch shows parodied Trump or attacked the president-elect for his political views and agenda.
Jimmy Fallon is a very popular talk show host, one who tries to make his guests as comfortable as possible by being funny and friendly with them. So, it was natural for him to be politically neutral while talking with Trump when he appeared on Fallon’s The Tonight Show during his election campaign.
Remember when Jimmy Fallon made Trump seem human and relatable?
I'll never forgive him for that. pic.twitter.com/qitzWGAWqG
— Dave Helfrey (@DaveHelfrey) December 6, 2016
However, many Jimmy Fallon fans criticized him for being too friendly with the politician. Tina Fey, an experienced comedian, believes it was inappropriate to criticize Fallon for his political stance, as talk show hosts are typically obliged to be non-political on their shows. Plus, they’re not supposed to promote a specific politician through their comedy sketches. According to Entertainment Weekly, Tina Fey remarked that politics can be a mud-slinging game, and artists like Jimmy Fallon should not be blamed if they choose not to get involved.
“This election is so, so ugly, it’s not business as usual. I really felt for Jimmy when people were so angry. It’s not Jimmy who peed in that punch bowl, it’s not Jimmy who created this horrible world that we’re currently living in.”
In Fey’s opinion, the prevailing angry mood amongst voters simply added fuel to the fire, and it was wrong that Jimmy Fallon became involved in the controversy. She also believes that there’s a high probability that comedy sketches are influenced by politicians, and in such cases, audiences can quickly determine the comedian’s political orientation.
It appears that Tina Fey may be well aware of political biases prevalent in the entertainment industry and the dealings that may go on behind the scene to promote a particular politician. However, she was quick to point out she never used her acting skills for political lobbying.
— mark wonderful (@markwonderful) November 23, 2016
In 2008, Tina Fey parodied Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and then vice presidential nominee, on Saturday Night Live. Even though critics appreciated her impression of Sarah Palin, the comedian never made a negative comment about any politician through her comedy sketches. According to Deadline, Tina Fey spoke about the utmost care she took when planning her comedy sketches.
“We spent so much time and care on making sure everything, we felt, was a fair hit. We never, ever went into it being like, ‘We gotta protect Obama, we gotta make [Republicans] look bad.'”
Indeed, Billboard reports that Tina Fey refrained from making easy jokes at President-elect Trump’s expense at the Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 Women in Entertainment breakfast earlier this month.
On December 7, Tina Fey took to the stage at the breakfast after being introduced by close friend Jon Hamm.
— SOCIALITE LIFE (@socialitelife) December 9, 2016
Noting that she was going to do her best to refrain from discussing the recent presidential election, the only mention that Fey made of Donald Trump was when she pondered out loud about her future – and that of her fellow female celebrities who are not as young as they used to be, including Emily Spivey, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Paula Pell, and Ana Gasteyer.
“We’re all a little less thirsty than we used to be. We love to work and to do good work, but we don’t need approval in the same way. We’re adults now, and I think we’re really starting to ask ourselves, ‘What’s next for me? What is my role in this business going to be once nobody wants to grab me by the p**** anymore?'”
The only time Tina Fey was criticized for a comedy sketch was when she wrote a sketch on John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 elections. Fey’s sketch was publicly criticized by Al Franken, actor-turned-politician and former alumnus of Saturday Night Live. Fey expected Franken to voice his criticism with a personal phone call, but instead he attacked her in public.
Fey held a grudge after the incident, but she managed to settle old scores by refusing to help him raise funds for his election campaign. She later taunted Franken by messaging him after he was elected a senator. According to Deadline, Tina Fey spoke about the text messages that were exchanged after she reminded Franken about the help he had sought from her.
“I texted him, ‘I knew you could do it without my $4,000’. Senator Franken, to his credit, texted me back, ‘F*** you.'”
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]