In an interview with celebrity guest Ashley Park, Kimmel went all out with a racist slur in the guise of humour.
Racist comments on public domain seem to be seeing a rise. When the arts and social scenarios should be fighting racism, it looks like many are going for it with comments wrapped in the what they call humour.
Humour is good and is absolutely necessary. But when humour takes the racist route, it becomes an irritant in the worst manner possible. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, a celebrity of course in his own right, is no stranger to such fun-wrapped racist slur. He has proved that he is capable of mouthing racial insensitivity earlier too.
Kimmel has done it again. And this time the target was the much popular Korean pop band BTS. It all happened during an interview with his celebrity guest Korean-American actress Ashley Park, Kimmel went all out with a racist slur gift wrapping it as humour.
Kimmel and his racist utterance
Ashley Park was Kimmel’s guest on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote her Netflix series Emily in Paris. In the course of the chat, Kimmel spoke to Park about the BTS cover of ‘Dynamite’ which she performed in an episode of Emily In Paris. Speaking at length about the BTS Army’s love and adoration for the K-pop band, Kimmel said “they are absolutely crazed for these guys. You have to be careful with an ARMY because they could attack.”
Not stopping at that, Kimmel did tread on to racist terrain when Ashley Park revealed that she tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The celebrity chat show host said “You thought it was BTS fever”. “They’re both very dangerous. You’re lucky to come out alive.”
This just came out of the blue. Ashley has expressed resentment over Kimmel’s racist utterance, which he thought was humour. Fans of BTS have also called out Kimmel for mocking the Army.
Kimmel comment has BTS fans irked
Though Kimmel’s words are termed as casual, it was indeed racism at play. The internet is abuzz with posts against Kimmel’s racist utterance.
BTS fans are yet to come to terms with Kimmel’s words. They have all taken to Twitter and other social media avenues to express their displeasure. One supporter tweeted, “The audacity to say that about an Asian artist in front of an Asian woman. @jimmykimmel really compared BTS to COVID in the year 2022 and amidst all the anti-Asian hate.”
Kimmel is a known figure, and a celebrity chat host. And it requires a man of that calibre to speak sensibly and responsibly. Stating anything that comes to mind isn’t fit for a public personality of his standards. Wish Jimmy Kimmel would realise his folly at least now.