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Jimmy Kimmel’s on-air xenophobic joke likens BTS to an illness

It seems like Jimmy Kimmel is willing to sacrifice his career just for a xenophobic joke that’s uncalled for. Everyone is displeased by the racism in his allusion and did not in any way find it funny at all.   

TV host Jimmy Kimmel has been accused of racism after his remark on the South Korean pop group BTS to a fever. His allusion of the joke was clearly building up to a punchline that denotes the Covid-19 disease. 

In the recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, actress Ashley Park of Emily In Paris appeared as a guest on the show and spoke to Kimmel. During their conversation, Park gushed about BTS sharing her in-show cover of their song Dynamite, saying she felt a physical reaction of going into shock. “The whole rest of the day, after they posted that, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t get up,” Park said. “I’ve never had this experience before. I’ve never been a fangirl to this extent.” The actress thought it was just an emotional response but later found out she tested positive for Covid-19. 

Kimmel responded “You thought it was BTS fever. They’re both very contagious; you’re lucky to come out of those alive.” His remark soon sparked anger on social media and many have questioned the deliberate association of BTS to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed millions of lives.    

Many people also called the joke insensitive and dangerous, especially at the height of anti-Asian hate crimes happening in the United States. 

In a previous statement, BTS recalled the racist experiences they’ve come up against: “We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English. We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason.” 

A line of comedians have also made similar racist jokes against the boy group but Jimmy Kimmel has been the latest comedian and media personality in making another xenophobic quip. This incident has reminded the public of the host’s past acts of racism just for the sake of humor.



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