As you can see above, last night Jimmy Kimmel highlighted numerous parents who thought it was just hilarious to employ their own infants as objects of national ridicule. Encouraging child abuse for laughs is Jimmy’s specialty, as I’ve noted before. This was a bit different, because the children didn’t know they were being abused.
After using social media to recruit parents to participate in the segment called “Fat Baby Bingo,” Jimmy joined the couples in mocking their own kids’ chubby thighs and folds of fat as the audience laughed. I bet Jimmy could recruit enough couples for a segment if he wanted them to set their kids on fire.
Of course, this will be on the web forever. My son has pronounced himself mortified by his baby pictures, as many of us are embarrassed by ours. These parents held up their unaware children to the camera, all but naked in diapers, so Jimmy could make jokes about how fat they were. Abuse of power, breach of trust, infliction of humiliation without consent, cruel and irresponsible. Just because a child doesn’t know he is being made the object of ridicule doesn’t make it right.
The talking heads on CNN today, however, thought it was all hilarious.
To these parents, egged on by Jimmy’s usual contempt for the humanity of kids, their babies were just props, like the gag items used by Carrot Top in his act.
Go ahead, defend Jimmy Kimmel and the parents betraying the privacy and dignity of their own infants, by saying it’s all in good fun and harmless.
I’m ready for you.