Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue was abruptly cut short Wednesday by a local television station in Texas after he called senators “cowards” for “listening to the NRA.”
Kimmel took to ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA on Twitter and vowed to figure out why it happened. A station rep responded to Kimmel on Twitter and explained it was a mistake.
Kimmel spoke about Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two adults dead. The suspect, Salvador Ramos, 18, was shot dead by law enforcement.
The incident sparked the gun control debate again as Ramos reportedly bought the gun on his 18th birthday after a change in Texas gun law. Politicians were once again pressed on the subject, and Kimmel intended to turn up the heat on them too.
“Here we are again, another day of mourning in this country, once again we mourn for the little boys and girls whose lives have been cut short and whose families have been destroyed,” Kimmel told the camera on top of his show.
Five minutes into his nine-minute monologue, Jimmy Kimmel Live! ceased airing and advertisements aired on the channel instead. Kimmel was made aware of the incident and spoke about it on Twitter.
In response to Kimmel, Pete Freedman, Director of Digital Content at WFAA, said: “We made the decision earlier today to expand our 10am news to include *additional* coverage of Uvalde in our show, it had nothing to do with your monologue. We’re on the same team. The message was followed by a handshake emoji.
Freedman was further pressed about the incident on Twitter, stating that the 10 a.m. news ran until 10:40 p.m., which may have explained why the feed was cut.
Addressing Kimmel again, Freedman wrote, “I will personally make sure we re-share your monologue on our website in the morning.”
Many Twitter users piled on the exchange. “You know exactly what you did and it will come out,” an angry user wrote. Another said, “Appropriate time…” apparently not believing Freedman’s statement.
Kimmel performed his monologue before the studio audience arrived and ditched the jokes in favor of a political gun control message.
“Most Americans support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and children, the majority of us do, Democrats and Republicans alike.” He continued. “And the reason they call them common sense gun laws, because that’s what they are – common sense.
“89% of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is the least we can do. A bipartisan bill passed in the House has been stalled in the Senate for more than a year now. They won’t pass it because our cowardly leaders just don’t listen to us. They listen to the NRA. Kimmel added. “They listen to these people who write them checks that keep them in power. Because that’s how politics works.”
Kimmel’s claim was echoed Tuesday by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who said 90% of Americans want “universal background checks.” PolitiFact’s Poynter Institute fact checkers concluded that claim to be true, citing several studies that found between 84 and 92 percent of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want background checks on possession. of firearms.
After Newsweek contacted WFAA’s Pete Freedman, he directed us to the station’s statement on their website.
“The WFAA has extended its Wednesday newscast to 10 p.m. for extensive coverage of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” aired immediately after our newscast. Unfortunately, the automated system that triggers the commercials played the first commercial break by mistake, interrupting Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue. The same technical error also impacted two commercial breaks later in the program, not just the one that interrupted the monologue. The WFAA apologizes for this error.”
The entire monologue was later shared on the website.
Newsweek contacted Jimmy Kimmel.