Jimmy Kimmel apologises after joking about Sean Hannity ‘bottoming’ for Donald Trump
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has apologised after repeated jokes about Sean Hannity and Donald Trump having gay sex were called out as ‘basic playground homophobia’.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live host engaged in an on- and off-screen spat with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is known for his fiercely pro-Trump coverage.
After Hannity lost his spot as the highest-rated cable news show to liberal firebrand Rachel Maddow last week, the talk show host aimed a jibe at him.
He wrote: “Don’t worry – just keep tweeting – you’ll get back on top! (or does Trump prefer you on bottom?) Either way, keep your chin up big fella..XO.”
Hannity retaliated: “Trump and I don’t have the creepy perverted relationship that you must have had with Obama.”
After the Fox host responded, Kimmel then said: “I’m starting to think SOMEONE has a crush on me!”
Kimmel added: “Thx for the trip down Man Show memory lane. The idea that YOU’d call ANYONE a ‘pervert’ while slobbering over Trump, Ailes, O’Reilly and, YES, Roy Moore – who you DID SUPPORT is, to quote a fella you love very much, ‘Sad!'”
The pair then proceeded to take the feud onto their respective TV shows, with Hannity calling Kimmel an “ass clown” live on air.
Jimmy Kimmel responded: “What even is an ass clown? More importantly, why is Sean Hannity openly fantasising about clowns in the ass? Is that your thing, at night, you open your laptop and hump a pillow?
“Sean Hannity’s problem is that for eight years while Obama was president he wasn’t able to get an erection. He tried everything, Viagra, Cialis, looking at pictures of Paul Ryan with his shirt off, it didn’t work.
“But now Trump is president, Sean Hannity is unable to have anything but an erection. He’s had an erection since November 2016, and he’s lost his mind.”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 6, 2018
Both men received backlash for the public sat – with people in the LGBT community calling the hosts out for using gay sex as a cheap derisory punchline.
Kimmel has now issued an apology, admitting his comments were in bad taste.
He wrote: “While I admit I did have fun with our back and forth, after some thought, I realise that the level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country.
“I will give my words more thought and recognise my role in inciting their hatefulness. By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologise.”
He also addressed Hannity’s criticism over a joke about Melania Trump’s accent.
Kimmel wrote: “I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady’s accent.
“Mrs Trump almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings.
“I am hopeful that Sean Hannity will learn from this too and continue his newly-found advocacy for women, immigrants and First Ladies and that he will triumph in his heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion.”
Sean Hannity has notably not apologised for his comments or his suggestion that gay relationships are “creepy and perverted.”
Kimmel has a long history of supporting LGBT rights, recently dedicating a skit on his show to lampooning religious business owners who refuse to serve gay people.
Hannity, meanwhile, was once sacked from a radio job after calling AIDS a ‘gay disease.’
The Washington Post last year unveiled tapes of Hannity from his former radio show The Pursuit of Happiness, which aired on California radio station KCSB in 1989.
In the tape, he insists: “Anyone listening to this show that believes homosexuality is just a normal lifestyle has been brainwashed… these disgusting people.”
He also hosted an anti-gay activist as a guest, agreeing with their claims that AIDS had spread by gay men consuming each others’ faeces.
Hannity added: “What is the cover-up all about that the media is hiding from the general public?
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“Contrary to what we hear in the general media, you can get AIDS from saliva, from tears… they won’t let you say it’s a gay disease.”
Jody May-Chang, a lesbian host for the same station, called up to complain, but Hannity and his guest mocked her “turkey baster baby”.
Hannity was eventually dismissed from the station, but then sued the station claiming his right to free speech had been infringed.
He landed on his feet, however – and was handed a string of cushy jobs that paved the way to his appointment on Fox.