Television host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel would have walked out of his late-night gig on Walt Disney Co DIS-owned ABC if his network had asked him to stop making jokes about former President Donald Trump.
What Happened: Kimmel made the revelation on Stitcher’s “Naked Lunch” podcast, hosted by Phil Rosenthal of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame, and his long-time friend and Emmy-nominated television writer David Wild.
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On jokes about Trump on his show and his decision to continue making them, Kimmel reminisced, “If that’s what you want to do, I understand, I don’t begrudge you for it, but I’m not going to do that. If you want someone else to host the show, that’s fine with me. I’m just not going to do it like that.”
ABC did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.
Why It Matters: At the time, Kimmel decided to press on with the jokes, Trump was still a presidential candidate.
Kimmel, who has hosted the late-night show on ABC since 2003, said it was “hinted at” by executives that he lost half or “maybe more” of his fanbase as he began jokes about Trump.
“Ten years ago, among Republicans, I was the most popular talk-show host. At least according to the research, they did,” he said.
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