Emmys 2020: Jimmy Kimmel condemned for ‘white privilege’ after ‘horrendous’ immigration joke about John Oliver

‘He did not think this through,’ one Emmy viewer tweeted

Adam White
Monday 21 September 2020 09:13 BST
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Jimmy Kimmel makes controversial joke about reporting John Oliver to ICE at Emmys
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Jimmy Kimmel has been condemned for a controversial joke about the US immigration enforcement agency ICE at this year’s Emmys.

Kimmel, who hosted the award show’s first virtual ceremony, made the joke after losing the award for Outstanding Talk Series to British comedian John Oliver, who presents the news satire Last Week Tonight.

Kimmel was instead “awarded” a participation Emmy, along with DVDs of the sitcom Young Sheldon.

“That’s way better than a stupid Emmy,” Kimmel said. “Congratulations again to John Oliver, I will be reporting him to ICE tomorrow.”

Kimmel’s joke earned a sour response from many viewers, with one condemning the talk show host for his “white privilege”.

“The amount of white privilege it took for Jimmy Kimmel to get up on stage at a nationally televised event and make a joke about ICE and have no one tell him that that isn’t okay, is absolutely astonishing to me,” one person tweeted.

Another added: “Jimmy Kimmel making an ICE joke in this political climate??? yeah he did not think this through.”

“Now why did Jimmy Kimmel make that horrendous ICE joke,” wrote another.

Journalist and celebrity interviewer E Alex Jung also expressed unease with the gag. “God that jimmy kimmel ICE joke,” he tweeted, along with several vomit emojis.

Jimmy Kimmel makes a joke about ICE at last night's Emmys
Jimmy Kimmel makes a joke about ICE at last night's Emmys (ABC/Disney)

ICE and the poor conditions of immigration detention centres across the United States have come under repeated scrutiny during the Trump administration.

This year’s Emmys saw Succession, Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen dominate the winner’s categories. A full list of winners can be found here.

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