Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has responded to news that former President Donald Trump’s administration tried to persuade his Disney bosses to censor his show in 2018. During his opening monologue on Thursday night’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the host blasted Trump and his team for attempting to silence him.
Kimmel began by acknowledging that he had heard rumors of the censorship attempts before, but had never seen proof until now. He then proceeded to read out an email that had been sent by a White House aide to Disney executives, in which they requested that Kimmel be disciplined for making jokes at Trump’s expense.
In response, Kimmel fired back with some jokes of his own, mocking Trump’s apparent obsession with him. “Can you imagine that? The president of the United States wanted to censor me,” he said. “It’s like I’m a character in a comic book whose superpower is making the president too angry to remember what he was mad about in the first place.”
Kimmel went on to criticize Trump and his administration for attempting to silence dissenting voices in the media, saying that it was a clear attack on the First Amendment. He also pointed out that he wasn’t the only person to be targeted by the former president’s team, citing examples of other journalists and media organizations that had been threatened or intimidated.
While Kimmel’s monologue was laced with humor, the underlying message was serious. The right to free speech and a free press are fundamental to democracy, and attempts to silence critics or censor dissenting voices are a direct threat to those values. As Kimmel noted, the fact that the President of the United States would even consider such a move is a sign of just how far the country has strayed from those principles.
In the end, Kimmel concluded his monologue with a message to Trump and his team: “You can’t silence me or the millions of Americans who agree with me. We will continue to speak out and hold you accountable for your actions, no matter how hard you try to shut us up.”