Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel struggled to keep his cool on Wednesday as he spoke about the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed two teachers and 19 children.
In a moving plea, the father-of-four urged lawmakers to correct their mistakes and pass tougher gun laws to avoid another tragedy like the Uvalde massacre.
On Tuesday, a gunman barricaded himself inside and opened fire on a fourth-grade class at Robb Elementary School, the site of the deadliest shooting at a US school since Sandy Hook.
“I wanted to speak to you directly without an audience just shortly before we started the show, because here we are yet another day of mourning in this country,” Kimmel said at the start of Wednesday’s show. “Once again we mourn the little boys and girls whose lives have been snuffed out and whose families have been destroyed, as our right-wing leaders, Americans in Congress and on Fox News…warn us not to politicize this.
“They immediately blame our president for even talking about doing something to stop him, because they don’t want to talk about it. Because they know what they did, and they know what they didn’t do, and they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep it under the rug.
Shortly after the somber monologue “Jimmy Kimmel Live” aired, ABC affiliate WFAA/Ch. 8 — a television station serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area — was accused of censoring the host’s remarks by skipping commercials during a significant portion of the opening.
“To my friends in Dallas asking: I don’t know if our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently, but I’ll find out,” Kimmel tweeted Wednesday night, along with a full YouTube link. . video. “In the meantime, here’s what you couldn’t see.”
In response to Kimmel’s investigation, the WFAA and its director of digital content, Pete Freedman, offered conflicting explanations for the untimely commercial break.
“We had made the decision earlier today to extend our 10 a.m. news to include *additional* coverage of Uvalde on our show,” Freedman replied to Kimmel on Twitter. “We are on the same team.
However, an official statement from the WFAA claimed that “the automated system that triggers the ads played the first commercial break in error” and apologized on Thursday “for technical difficulties last night”.
On its website, the station later uploaded a video of Kimmel’s monologue in its entirety. Freedman and the station agreed that the interrupted broadcast “had nothing to do” with the content of Kimmel’s speech.
“Most Americans support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and children … Democrats and Republicans alike,” Kimmel continued on his show. “The reason they call them common sense gun laws is because that’s what they are.
“A bipartisan bill passed in the House. He has been stuck in the Senate for over a year now. They won’t adopt it because our cowardly leaders won’t listen to us. They listen to the NRA. They listen to these people who write them checks, who keep them in power because that’s how politics works… but it doesn’t have to be like that.
To underscore his point, Kimmel referenced a 1996 school shooting in Scotland – after which lawmakers enacted gun control legislation. There has not been another school shooting in the UK since.
“It’s the only country where this continues to happen,” Kimmel said. “Guns are now the number one cause of death among American children and adolescents. No. 1.
Later in his speech, Kimmel turned his attention directly to Texas officials — such as Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott — who are against gun control, and desperately called them out as “ Human being”.
“I don’t believe Ted Cruz doesn’t care about the kids,” Kimmel said. “I refuse to believe he is unaffected by this. He’s a father. I bet he went to bed sick in his stomach last night. It’s easy to call someone a monster, but they’re not a monster. He is a human being. …
“So here’s the thing I would like to say to Ted Cruz, the human being. … It’s okay to admit you made a mistake. In fact, it’s not just OK. It’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake kills your state’s children.
It takes courage to right a wrong, Kimmel added in an effort to spur conservative political leaders to action. The comedian insisted that “now is not the time to be silent” and called on lawmakers to “fix this”.
“Do I think these men are brave people? No, I don’t,” Kimmel continued. “But man, I would love for them to surprise me. … Some people say it’s a mental health issue. Others say it’s a gun issue. It’s both , and it can be both, so let’s work on both.
After closing her case, Kimmel aired a public service announcement from the gun violence prevention organization Everytown for Gun Safety.
“How does that make sense to anyone?” asked a distraught Kimmel, his voice cracking. “These are our children. And our representatives are supposed to represent us. …
“We get angry. We demand action. We do not understand. They are waiting for him. We are returning to lives that we should rightfully be able to return to. But you know who doesn’t forget that? Parents of children from Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and now Robb Elementary School. They won’t forget it.