American television host, James Christian Kimmel, publicly known as Jimmy Kimmel, is known for stirring controversies via his remarks about different societal subjects. In 2020, Kimmel was embroiled in a nasty cultural s**t show as multiple controversies from his past came back to haunt him.
Once again, Kimmel has erred on the side of the public following his comments about the music group BTS. The renowned pop stars were a topic of discussion on a recent edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!.”
Kimmel played host to actress Ashley Park, and during the interview, he dished out some remarks that compared the singers to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Now, the incident has ignited a media firestorm as the BTS Army is trending the hashtag #JimmyKimmelRacist on Twitter.
Find out more below.
What Did Jimmy Kimmel Say?
Park had earlier starred in the second season of “Emily in Paris,” giving a rendition of BTS’ song “Dynamite” as her character Mindy. Following the premiere of the series, some members of BTS praised the scene via their Instagram account.
Subsequently, the actress appeared on Kimmel’s late-night show and spoke about her fan love for the singing group. She also gushed about her joy when some BTS group members liked her performance of their song in the series.
Park revealed that she caught the coronavirus shortly after the shout-out and got quarantined at home for a while. Kimmel then tried to respond to her shocking reveal by making remarks that he thought many would find funny.
“You thought it was BTS fever. They’re both very dangerous; you’re lucky to come out of those alive,” Kimmel told Park on his show.
Jimmy Kimmel Compared Boybands To Coronavirus Variants
Sad to say, many fans did not relate to the joke and were quick to voice their disgust. However, a few days later, Kimmel seemed to dig a deeper hole for himself by bringing up a similar joke that compared boybands and coronavirus variants.
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“These variants, all the different variants in the world right now, it reminds me of the boy bands in the late 90s and early 2000s,” Kimmel said in another episode of his show. “You had the big ones like Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, and then that mutated into O-Town and 98 Degrees.”
He added, “The JoBros popped up, Big Time Rush, they kept splitting off in different directions, eventually One Direction. And they took pieces, and it popped up all over the world until eventually, we get to one that’s so contagious it destroys all life on earth.”
Anti-Asian Hate Crime Is On The Rise
Many fans felt hurt by Kimmel’s comments. Despite his second joke having no direct reference to the Asian boy band, it did not soothe the nerves of fans who felt the host had no reason to take a comical swipe at BTS.
Unfortunately, BTS has continued to be besmirched by racist remarks in recent times. It follows the exponential increase in Asian hate crimes and Xenophobia since the rise of the pandemic.
Given Kimmel’s status and media reach, fans felt he could have done better with his words as the joke appeared to damage the reputation of the music group, which is one of the most followed singing acts in the world.
Fans Comments About Jimmy Kimmel Remarks
Most fans did not hold back in their response to Kimmel’s alleged racist remarks. They took to social media to call out the host.
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One Reddit user commented, “So let me get this straight: last week he took a Korean actress’s funny anecdote, spun it in a racist direction (equating Covid with BTS) and now because of the backlash he received he decided to further the ‘joke’ by listing off enough white boybands by name and omitting the one that is the true punch-line just to justify the original statement?”
“The thing is that by leaving the name out, he’s basically left the door open to deny he ever meant them…,” wrote a Reddit user.
Following the backlash on social media, Kimmel is yet to speak out about the controversy.