Just months after comedian Jimmy Kimmel passionately urged Americans during his Oscars monologue to seek unity and “reach out to one person you disagree with,” he proclaimed in a new CBS interview that he “probably wouldn’t want to have a conversation” with people who are immensely turned off by his political views.
The moment came when CBS reporter Tracy Smith asked Kimmel about his reaction to some conservatives and Republicans speaking out against his politically-themed monologues on issues like health care and gun control.
“So you don’t mind if Republicans turn off your show?” Smith asked, to which Kimmel replied, “I don’t say I don’t mind. 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.”
When Smith suggested that his reaction was akin to saying “good riddance,” he added, “Well, not good riddance, but riddance.”
Watch it unfold below:
As Faithwire previously reported, this attitude paints a stark difference from Kimmel’s past handling of civility — and of dealing with people who hold opposing views. In fact, back in February, he delivered a pointed plea to his fellow Americans.
“As you know, I don’t have to tell anybody the country is divided right now. I’ve been getting a lot of advice — people have been telling me, ‘It’s time to bring everyone together. You need to say something to unite us,’” Kimmel said, before veering off into a joke. “And let’s just get something straight off the top … I can’t do that.”
The comedian proceeded to say there’s “only one Braveheart” in the room, referring to actor Mel Gibson and his iconic movie role, joking, “And he’s not going to unite us either, okay?” Laughs abounded, but while Kimmel said he himself isn’t the guy to single-handedly unite the country, he did have a message for every American about what they can do to help mend the divide.
“You know, if every person watching this show — I don’t want to get too serious, but there are millions and millions of people watching right now, and if every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with — someone you like — and have a positive considerate conversation, not as liberals or conservatives, as Americans, if we would all do that, we could make America great again,” Kimmel proclaimed. “We really could. It starts with us.”
Watch around the 1-minute mark below:
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017
So, back in February he said “it starts with us” and encouraged dialogue, yet, today, he said he’s less interested in speaking with those who oppose him.
Kimmel has made waves recently for speaking about emotional topics like gun control and health care, often times getting emotional during his monologues. In an interview with CNN this week, he said he dreads covering such serious topics.
“It’s embarrassing and it’s hard and I dread it and it makes me appreciate the nights where I don’t have to do that, where I can go out and can just joke around, but it’s almost like speaking at a funeral,” he said. “You just have to get through it.”
(H/T: Radio America News Director Greg Corombos)