Jimmy Kimmel made an apology, but it wasn't for making fun of Melania Trump's accent.
Kimmel took heat for a Twitter battle that erupted between him and Fox News host Sean Hannity after he mocked the way First Lady Melania Trump spoke while reading to children at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Mediate has a blow-by-blow recap of the fight that led up to last night's "apology" by Kimmel.
The real motivation for Kimmel wasn't Melania Trump, but to quell the backlash over comments he made about President Trump and Hannity.
In a lengthy tweet, Kimmel starts out by setting himself up as the victim:
… I realize that the level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country. Even in 2018, the vile attacks against my wife and wishes for death on my infant son are shocking and I encourage those who made them to give their words and actions thought. I, too, will give my words more thought and recognize my role in inciting their hatefulness.”
Then he jumps to who he is really sorry for offending. Spoiler alert: it's not Melania Trump or people who speak with an accent:
By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize.”
The apology for what he said about Melania was almost an afterthought:
I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady’s accent. Mrs. Trump almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings.”
Kimmel didn't apologize at all to Melania or others who didn't think it funny to make fun of how someone from another country speaks. In fact, he dug his heels in deeper calling his joke "harmless and silly."
If you're wondering why Kimmel even used Melania as the butt of his joke, he made it clear. It was a play for ratings.
Comedians get a lot of latitude for the jokes that they make. However, when Ricky Gervais trashed actors Selma Hayek and Antonio Banderas for how they spoke in 200, it didn't go over so well.
The silence of many on the left over Kimmel's cheap shot is deafening. You can't help but think that their willingness to overlook Kimmel's behavior is less about free speech in comedy and more about opposing anyone with the last name of Trump.