After receiving backlash — including a series of tweets by Donald Trump Jr. — for his silence on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Jimmy Kimmel has explained why he did not immediately speak out against the studio mogul on his show.
During an appearance on ABC News that aired Friday on “Good Morning America,” the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host elaborated on the reasoning for his delayed response to the accusations of sexual harassment against Weinstein that have rocked Hollywood since the New York Times published an exposé on Oct. 5. When Amy Robach brought up Trump Jr.’s string of tweets calling Kimmel out for his silence, the comedian said, “He’s an idiot, let’s just start with that. This is an imbecile whose job seems to be tweeting, as far as I can tell. With that said, I do admire that he’s very loyal to his father.”
“First of all, the Harvey Weinstein thing, people like these false equivalences of, that somehow is equivalent to what happened is Las Vegas,” Kimmel added. “I mean, Harvey Weinstein is not a friend of mine. I’m not in the movie business. And I’ll add that that story came out, I think, moments before we went to tape on Thursday, and we didn’t have a show on Friday.”
“They’re trying to drag up — especially these gun nuts — are trying to … take any comedy bit I did out of context and use it as some kind of proof saying that I’m calling myself the moral conscience of America, which I most certainly never did and most certainly never would,” he said.
Kimmel, like other late-night hosts, addressed Weinstein the Monday after the New York Times broke the story. On his show, he joked, “What’s the difference between Harvey Weinstein and the Pillsbury Doughboy? When the Pillsbury Doughboy offers you a roll, he doesn’t ask you to watch him take a shower for it.”
Trump Jr.’s Twitter attack against Kimmel began with a re-tweeted photo of Weinstein with Obama. “Can’t wait to hear @jimmykimmel’s monologue on this tonight,” the photo was captioned.
On Oct. 7, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very ‘unfunny’ & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?” In response, Kimmel wrote, “Excellent point Mr. President! You should quit that boring job – I’ll let you have my show ALL to yourself
#MAGA,” to which Trump Jr. responded, “Thoughts on Harvey Weinstein? #askingforafriend.”
To which Trump Jr. challenged him:
On Oct. 10, Trump Jr. slammed Kimmel with this re-tweet:
The next day, Trump Jr. nudged the host again with another re-tweet.