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Kimmel Calls Florida “America’s North Korea” — and Other Times He Sparked Outrage

In our online age of trending hashtags and viral videos, it’s no surprise that public figures regularly employ the shock factor when talking about pop culture topics. Many late-night hosts use this strategy: They decide what’s trending and create jokes with their own spin on it. Suddenly, the web may pick up on a phrase or a funny clip, generating well-circulated content. One late-night host that makes headlines for his show is Jimmy Kimmel. Here are three times his comments on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” created a lot of buzz (and/or outrage).

1. Calling Florida “America’s North Korea”

On Friday’s episode, Kimmel called Florida “America’s North Korea.” 

“In America’s North Korea, the Sunshine State, from time to time, we enjoy taking a look at what’s going on, and tonight we are doing it again in a Gov. DeSantis edition of ‘This Week in Florida,'” Kimmel said.

Conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey replied, “And that’s why everyone’s moving there?”

2. Unvaccinated Americans

A headline called unvaccinated Californians “Selfish Americans.”

“Instead of a vaccine, I think what we should do is start calling it ‘arm botox,’’ Kimmel said. “That should be the rule: if you don’t get the vaccine, you aren’t allowed to get tattooed or your lips plumped.”

When talking about unvaccinated people not wearing masks and acting like the pandemic is over, he said, “Not for you, it isn’t. Listen: you didn’t chip in for the gift, [so] you don’t get to sign the card, OK?”

3. Black GOP Senators

In April, Kimmel said Sen. Tim Scott R-S.C. delivered the Republican response to President Biden’s congressional address. He said, “America is not a racist country.”

“An amazing thing happened after the speech. Every Black Republican Senator got together to let the American people know the Republican Party isn’t racist,” Kimmel responded, referring to how there are two Black GOP senators.

Users took to Twitter to answer Kimmel’s comments, also noting Kimmel recently had to apologize for previously donning “blackface.”

Is it normal at this point?

If you watch “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” did any of these jokes make you blink? Is this normal for comedians, talk show hosts and celebs? Is it all fun and games? Steven Law, CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, tweeted that Kimmel’s Florida comment was an example of “[h]ow Hollywood political group-think produces hateful ignorance.” Do you agree or disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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