Texas ABC affiliate WFAA says glitch caused cuts to ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Uvalde monologue

·5 min read
Jimmy Kimmel Live! via youtube

Jimmy Kimmel began his show Wednesday night without an audience.

The comedian fought back tears during a comedy-free monologue in which he addressed the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde that left 21 dead, including 19 young kids.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, however, Kimmel’s six-minute monologue was cut off by a string of commercials, beginning with an in-house WFAA/Ch. 8 news spot. The ABC affiliate played several more commercials before cutting back into the end of the monologue, which Kimmel used for a three-minute Everytown.org commercial. The gun violence prevention organization aims to enact “evidence-based solutions” to curb gun violence.

A source at WFAA says the commercials aired and cut out part of the monologue because the 10 p.m. newscast ran long. It wasn’t just the monologue that received off-kilter cuts to commercials. An interview with Seth MacFarlane was chopped up into mangled segments between spots.

The station posted an explanation of the technical issues on its website.

“WFAA apologizes for technical difficulties that interrupted Jimmy Kimmel Live at multiple points, including during his monologue on gun control,” that station said in a statement Thursday morning.

Kimmel accepted the explanation from WFAA in a Twitter post Thursday morning.

“I’ve known the staff at @wfaa personally and professionally for almost 20 years and believe this mistake was made unintentionally,” he said. “Thanks for reposting and for correcting this error. Sending love to all my friends in Texas.”

Viewers in North Texas were left wondering what happened, with many speculating that WFAA had pulled the plug and censored Kimmel.

“To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out,” Kimmel posted on social media. “In the meantime, here’s what you didn’t get to see.”

Kimmel urged Texas officials by name, including Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Gov. Greg Abbott to admit something needs to change to prevent similar mass killings.

“Once again we grieve for the little boys and girls,” Kimmel said, fighting back tears. “Whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed. While our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at FOX News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it. Because they don’t want to speak about it because they know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done. And they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

Kimmel lamented the failed bills that would require stronger background checks, including H.R. 8.

“The reason they call them common sense gun laws is because that’s what they are,” he said. “Eighty-nine percent of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is the very least we can do.”

Kimmel then appealed directly to the politicians, specifically ones in Texas.

“Our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us. They’re listening to the NRA, they’re listening to those people who write them checks that keep them in power,” he said. “Because that’s how politics works. I don’t believe Ted Cruz doesn’t care about children. I bet he went to bed sick to his stomach last night. It’s easy to call somebody a monster but he’s not a monster, he’s a human being.”

Kimmel, admittedly hoping and not expecting, wished that Cruz and others would admit their gun control ideas haven’t worked.

“It’s OK 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 is killing the children in your state,” he said. “It takes a big person, a brave person to do something like that.”

He’s not counting on it, though.

“Man I’d love it if any of these guys surprised me,” he said.

Kimmel noted that 27 school shootings have occurred in 2022, and it’s only May, he added.

“How does this make sense to anyone,” he said, his voice cracking again. “This is not a time for moments of silence. This is a moment to be loud and to stay loud and not stop until we fix this. Some people say this is a mental health problem. Others say it’s a gun problem. It is both. It can be both. So let’s work on both of those.”

The final three minutes, 30 seconds of the monologue was clipped out as WFAA went directly into a string of commercials. After the bulk of the everytown.org video was played, more commercials followed before Kimmel’s interview with MacFarlane was joined in progress.

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