Update: The video is now private but here’s an article on Huffington Post that has the full video.
This video came across my Facebook feed earlier today. I don’t typically watch video clips from late night shows in the middle of the work day. I tend to wait until after 6 when my social media-ing gets a little less work oriented and more casual. But for some reason, I clicked on the video to see what Jimmy Kimmel had to say about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
As I watched the video, I was intrigued to see what tongue in cheek thing Jimmy Kimmel would have to say about the lack of diversity in the recent list of Oscar nominees. My intrigue quickly changed to annoyance. Jimmy’s tongue in cheek skit quickly devolved into a show of disrespect.
This is how I ended up watching the skit (but without the cocktail because: work).
Not only was it disrespectful to the black actors and entertainers in the skit, it was filled with cliches about black people. Wait, it was filled with dated cliches about black people. I get that Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian that sometimes toes the line between what’s appropriate and what isn’t.
This skit is inappropriate.
After seeing it, I couldn’t help but wonder what the writer’s room for The Jimmy Kimmel Show looks like. My first thought was whether there are black people in that room, but my second thought was whether there are people with critical thinking skills in that room. It doesn’t take a black person to see that this skit is disrespectful. It doesn’t take a black actor to see that this skit isn’t funny.
Here’s a skit that addressed the controversy but managed to be politically relevant AND funny.
Do I think this means we should boycott The Jimmy Kimmel Show? No.
I think this means we should call the show out for it’s disrespect and hold them accountable for the decision. How, you ask? Writing this post is my way. Sharing the video with your thoughts online is another way. Writing your own posts and thought pieces about why this isn’t OK is yet another way. Commenting on posts written by other people and getting involved in the dialogue is one more way. But boycotting, no. This doesn’t need a boycott.