Jimmy Kimmel should be learning.
A guy who makes his living playing to the public shouldn’t make a habit out of alienating half the general population every time he opens his mouth.
And even Kimmel admits it’s starting to show up in his bottom line.
“According to polls I’ve seen, it has cost me commercially,” he told Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine in April’s issue, according to Fox News. “That’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t change anything I said.”
Kimmel might want to rethink that — especially if his grating, heart-on-the-sleeve liberal schtick keeps hitting him commercially.
It’s easy to forget now — after Kimmel has spent more than a year unnecessarily taking sides in the country’s culture wars — but the late-night comedian wasn’t always so radioactively political.
As the liberal website Vox noted in September, prior to President Donald Trump’s election, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC “tended to approach politicians with the same instinct it applied to uninformed people wandering down Hollywood Boulevard: wryly pointing out how stupid they could be.”
Other than an idiotically emotional response to the death of a lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of an American big game hunter, Kimmel was generally just another guy who told gags as most of America headed to bed. (Kimmel’s weeping over the death of Cecil the lion was a mainstream media phenomenon, with gushing coverage from his own ABC as well as outlets like CNN.)
Kimmel even got some support from pro-life conservatives in late 2016 when he pointedly did not refer to the unborn baby he and his wife, Molly McNearny, were expecting as a “fetus.”
Do Jimmy Kimmel’s political attitudes turn you off?
That all changed when he hosted the Oscars in February 2017 and turned it into an anti-Trump hate fest aimed directly at pleasing the liberal Hollywood audience — and ended up alienating audiences at home (Record-low ratings proved that).
Then, Kimmel used a monologue in May to go public about his newborn son’s heart condition. Anyone with an ounce of feelings could sympathize with a new father and root for a young boy with a life-threatening illness.
But Kimmel, for reasons that still aren’t clear, decided to make Republicans and their efforts to overhaul the disastrous Obamacare system the villains in the story.
In 2017, he was making about $15 million a year hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC, according to CNBC. When a guy has money like that and his son is still facing medical problems, it’s not the fault of the government’s health care system.
But the liberal media, always eager for a storyline to bash Trump and the Republicans, greeted Kimmel’s new activism like it was a sign that the country wanted to get rid of the president and his party. New York magazine headlined an item: “Jimmy Kimmel Might Have Struck the Final Blow Against the GOP Health-Care Plan.”
Now, Kimmel is a de facto spokesman for Democrats, vying with the loathsome Stephen Colbert at CBS for who can offend more Trump supporters on any given night.
The problem he is seeing is that infuriating half the potential members of the audience is bad business in show business.
That showed up in the ratings for the Oscars, which he hosted again this year — and which posted another record ratings low, according to The New York Times.
So, Kimmel admits his political stance is hurting his show commercially. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will soon have no choice but admit its annual celebration of liberalism and demonizing of conservatives at the Oscars is hurting it with the American public. (Maybe a third straight year of record low ratings will do the trick.)
Because any service business that starts off by offending half its customer base is a service business that can’t survive.
And Kimmel is going to be learning that, too.
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