Stop Cruelty To Children—Or To Put It Another Way, Stop Jimmy Kimmel

Bulletin to Jimmy Kimmel: Enough is enough, you sadistic jerk.

Also known as "Jimmy Kimmel Cruel!" and "Jimmy Kimmel Sadistic!"

Flush with his “success” of persuading his most irresponsible viewers to make their own children cry by lying to them about eating all their Halloween candy and then posting the videos of their kids’ emotional distress on YouTube, ABC late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has told the same warped people to traumatize their children again, this time by granting the kids the special treat of opening a Christmas gift early, but having a terrible gift (like a half-eaten sandwich) inside. The emotional reactions of the children thus deceived are also, per Kimmel’s directive, videotaped for posterity  to inspire mirth on the part of  his similarly warped viewers who don’t have children (and thank God for that), because, as we all know, disappointing kids at Christmastime is fun.

This has got to stop. It doesn’t matter if some, like Mediate’s Jon Bershad , think this is “the cruelest, funniest joke ever,” and others, like the Huffington Post’s reviewer, think the pranked children’s misery is “hilarious.” Children are not props for Jimmy Kimmel’s sadistic amusement, and parents who are willing to use their children this way, intentionally spoiling their Christmas anticipation for the entertainment of sadistic strangers, are, to be blunt, rotten, despicable, and untrustworthy parents. Something important—Compassion? Kindness? Empathy? Loyalty? Responsibility? Love? — is absent in their parental make-up, and that void is being cynically exploited by Kimmel, who has crossed the threshold from arrested adolescent to full-fledged villain.

Since Kimmel has twice been rewarded with positive publicity for egging on parents to harm their kids, what can we expect next from Jimmy? Suggesting that parents tell their kids that a beloved pet has died? Maybe telling children that Dad has eaten the family cat–that sounds funny! Or that he’s slaughtered a sibling! N0–better—sold a sibling—no, traded a sibling!  For…a stick of butter! A piece of crap…that’s more Jimmy’s style. That should really set them off! Let’s get really creative…let’s tell the kids that grandma has died and is now a zombie! There’s almost no limit to the great YouTube videos one can create when you’re willing to lie to your kids to upset them.

Are child welfare advocates going to just sit around and let this organized assault on families and childhood innocence continue, or will someone make Kimmel’s bosses at Disney—that’s right, Disney—stop him, reprimand him or fire him?


UPDATE: I have started a Facebook page dedicated to condemning this practice by Kimmel, and urging Disney to stop it. You can find the page here.

17 thoughts on “Stop Cruelty To Children—Or To Put It Another Way, Stop Jimmy Kimmel

  1. I am simply aghast at this dreadful idea. How is it possible that we have sunk so low as to find humor in mild child abuse?

    You know, with everything in America now “all about the children,” you would imagine this wouldn’t happen. How dichotomous, and how unfortunate. We won’t let kids go out on Halloween, but we are willing to traumatize them for hits on YouTube.

    We get all outraged when people torture animals like this, and yet we laugh when we abuse our own kids for amusement? Unethical hardly seems sufficient.

    I blame Tim Tebow .

  2. I can imagine joking about doing something like this, but joking about doing something and actually doing it are very different.

  3. I think back 35-40 years to my innocent and trusting little girl of that time — had anyone tried to pull a “kimmel” on her, there would have been violence. Trying to think of words that are printable to desribe adults who USE (make that ABUSE) children for cheap entertainment. Best I can come up with on short notice is SOCIOPATHS.

  4. I can hardly believe it is even necessary to protest this because to me, this sort of thing isn’t funny in the first place. WHAT on Earth is cute about a child made upset deliberately?

    Let’s take the deliberate nature of the act out with this example. There was a viral video of some kid crying while watching the Pats play and he said, “I hate you, Tom Brady” or some damn thing; I didn’t actually watch it. Here’s my question: why is THIS funny? Why is it funny to watch some kid get upset? I don’t find it funny. Is it cute? Kids with their faces contorted and red, THAT’s cute?

    With the comedies that I see succeeding every week at the box office, and the times I heard the audience laugh in certain comedies when there was no joke present, I think this is reasonable evidence that the general population of America has never learned what is actually funny. Combine this with a stunning lack of empathy and now anything where someone has a reaction can become ‘funny.’

  5. While I enjoy reading this intelligent blog, I have to disagree with this post and all of the associated comments. I found both videos quite funny based on the variety of responses from the kids. In fact, one of the children in the Halloween montage had a very adult answer when learning that his mom had consumed all of his candy, “I hope you get a tummy ache.”

    I think practical jokes here and there bring levity to the world. Jimmy Kimmel (remember he is a comedian who makes people laugh) did not instruct viewers to throw away all of the candy or flush it down the toilet and show that footage to the children. It was just some harmless joking where the truth was quickly revealed.

    But really, if some of the respondents are going to get on this holier than thou pedestal and claim that children are too precious to be dishonest with then we should just do away with this fabricated story of Santa Claus and the reindeer. Because that lie that persists for years and years is no more worse off then a small joke that is quickly forgotten.

    • I can’t comprehend the thinking behind this, Gregory, and I really think it shows an ethical blind spot, like the people who think it’s funny to harass and upset animals. Practical jokes are only funny if they are played on targets who can appreciate the joke. Causing young children discomfort for an adult’s amusement is bullying–can’t you see that? It is an abuse of superior power. Then placing the child’s reaction on Youtube compounds the offense, placing the personal humiliation of another on the web. How about the elderly—is it fun to cause them distress too? The mentally challenged? Sick people? The homeless? Practical jokes don’t brink “levity” to their victims. They brink stress and discomfort.

      Frankly, I don’t think there is another side to this issue—just ethical blindness.

  6. So are you against anything that brings discomfort to people… are you against disciplining children as well? they certainly seem miserable then too.

    I’m not saying I condone this, just that you saying that not seeing it your way means people have and ethical blind spot, and that there is no other side of this issue is rather ridiculous. There is ALWAYS another side to any ethical discussion, if there wasn’t then there would be no reason to discuss it. If there was truly only one possible side then everyone would have to see it that way because there would be no other option, therefore it would cease to be an issue. I think it is very narrow minded to say there is just one side and that others have ethical blind spots if they see another side. A good ethical debater or writer should examine both sides, not just their own. Simply saying ‘your side does not exist’ is not very persuasive or convincing.

    • If you bothered to read, oh, any of about 2000 of the 2600 posts here, Holly, you would see that I examine both sides of an ethical issue routinely, except when there is no other side. When it comes to causing children distress by lying to them and then exposing their pain on Youtube so a heartless talk show host can laugh at them, there IS no “other side.” Some conduct is incontrovertably unethical—like this. Go ahead: argue your “other side” here. I’d love to read it: how is it justifiable to hurt your own kids to make Jimmy laugh? You are something: you criticize the analysis and don’t offer anything but a general objection to declaring something wrong that obviously is.

      • If i bothered to read any of your other posts? I DO! I quite enjoy reading your posts, you are a very good writer.

        I am just pointing out that, in ethics, there cannot be only one side. If everyone saw just one side then it would not be a problem in the first place.

        I happen to agree that it was unethical, My boyfriend showed me these videos on youtube and it made me feel so bad for those kids, no humor in that.

        • Holly, in defense of Jack he hosts an open forum that welcomes spirited debate. Sometimes, though these are more the exception than the rule, he even agrees with well-thought out arguments. But for the most part he will tell you that it is NOT an echo chamber and that the contributors present opposing sides to an issue.

          • I’m not looking for a debate. I agree with his side of this issue. It is just very narrow minded and naive to state that there is only one side to any issue. One-sidedness by definition means that there in no issue. Therefore if he thinks this is an issue than he is contradicting himself by saying that there is no other side.

            • Holly, do you really think there are two sides to every issue? Think about that for a second and spare me the the list of the millions of issues that there is absolutely only one side if one is talking about whether something s right or wrong. Sometimes there are three, eight, or 50 sides to an issue, but in many, many many cases, there is only one

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