Oh. Well, it’s all right then. It’s all right to appeal to the true assholes—there is no better word — among his audience members and urge them to upset their own children for his entertainment and the entertainment of YouTube viewers. That’s Jimmy! It’s good to know who the sociopaths are among late night entertainers. Letterman, we know about. Ask Conan about Jay.
It is not only alarming that so many parents thought that it was perfectly appropriate to induce emotional trauma in their own children for the fun of it, but that these parents, after seeing their children collapse in grief, went ahead and posted the video evidence that they are miserable parents and human beings—just like their idol Jimmy Kimmel. I’m sure Jimmy will have some cool ideas later about how they can get funny animal videos too, by, say, tying cans to dogs’ tails or covering cats in duct tape or strapping them to pitbulls. Let the fun commence!
In case any of those mega-jerks who took Jimmy’s advice to torture their own flesh and blood for laughs are reading and puzzled, here is what is ethically wrong with the excercise:
- It is dishonest. Lying to one’s child is rarely justified; lying to one’s child to upset the child is irredeemably wrong.
- It is cruel. Obviously. These children are not old enough to get the “joke.” Inflicting emotional pain on a child for the fun of it—the fun of it!—is the essence of conscience-free behavior.
- It is a betrayal. Parents have a duty to protect young children from people like Jimmy Kimmel, who think they are mere props for their own pleasure, not aid and abet such individual’s warped schemes.
- It is a breach of the child’s privacy. It is wrong to put any child’s actions on YouTube before the child is old enough to understand the implications of being exposed to millions of strangers, forever.
The use of YouTube to humiliate children has got to stop; it’s not fair, and it’s not funny. As for Jimmy Kimmel, he should be ashamed of himself, but won’t be. Sociopaths—the kind of people who enjoy torturing kids—are like that.