Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel believes that it’s the responsibility of late-night TV to speak up about mass killings like those that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend.
On Saturday, at least 22 people were killed in a massacre that injured dozens more. Early Sunday morning, another massacre took place at a Dayton nightclub. At least 10 people were killed during that incident, with dozens more injured.
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Kimmel made the remarks during a Monday press tour for the Television Critics Association.
“I think there’s now an expectation that late-night talk shows will address these horrible things,” Kimmel, who was once branded as America’s “moral compass,” said.
“We seem to forget about these tragedies nationally four days after they happen,” he added.
Kimmel also explained that U.S. politicians just “don’t seem to care” what the American people think when it comes to gun laws.
“My hope always in situations like that is to — I know that I don’t have any thoughts that are new or groundbreaking, and usually by the time we get on the air, there’s been 24-48 hours of news coverage — but to just remind people that 97 percent of Americans believe that we should have background checks for purchases at gun shows,” he added.
Kimmel also credited former late-night show host David Letterman for getting hosts into politics.
“David Letterman got that ball rolling then Jon Stewart said — and still continues to say — a lot of important things,” Kimmel said. “I just don’t know what alternative there is. You watch the news all day and see what’s going on, how do you walk on stage and ignore it? I wish I could. It’s hard to talk about serious subjects … I want to be funny. When people watch a late-night television show people feel like they know you want to know what you think … I wish we didn’t have to do it so frequently.”