Jimmy Kimmel Says Talking About Politics On The Show Has Cost Him

It seems like now more than ever celebrities are very vocal about our nation's political climate.

Although some people will say that Hollywood stars should remain quiet about political affairs, it hasn't stopped people like Jimmy Kimmel from speaking out about certain issues.

Since early last year, the late night host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, has steered away from comedy to talk about serious topics during some of his nightly opening monologues.

It seemed to have started with him opening up about his ill son, Billy, who was born with a blocked valve and a hole in his heart, a condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot. Three days after birth, the newborn had to endure a three-hour open-heart emergency surgery to save his life.


Thanks to the amazing medical team at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital, little Billy's initial treatment was successful and he was able to go home soon after.

Kimmel shared his son's story on live television to highlight the work that doctors and nurses across the nation are doing every day, and to raise awareness for the importance of universal healthcare. The funnyman choked up as he called on his fans to get in touch with their local representatives and pressure them about renewing the Children's Health Insurance Plan.

Kimmel previously admitted that it is "uncomfortable" to open up about about his personal life and views so publicly, but that did not deter him from continuing to deliver politically-charged speeches throughout the year.

He recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview featured in the latest issue of O magazine, and opened up some more about the impact talking about politics has had on his show.

Kimmel told Winfrey that it's never easy opening up on the show, especially after finding out that bringing his personal political views into the mix has had negative consequences.

"According to polls I’ve seen, it has cost me commercially,” Kimmel revealed.

Despite taking a financial hit, the host told Winfrey that he does not regret any of it. “That’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t change anything I said," he added.

Kimmel has been aware of this commercial loss for sometime now, but he continued to move in the same direction. He has repeatedly used his platform to talk about the current administration's stance on immigration, gun control, and healthcare.

He was the host of the 2018 Academy Awards ceremony and viewership also decreased by 16 percent. According to Nielsen, only 24 million people tuned into the ABC broadcast compared to the whopping 33 million in 2017. However, these numbers do not include streaming services.

Entertainment Tonight

It's unclear if it's the Kimmel effect that impacted the Oscars, or it's simply due to other factors.

The entertainer told Winfrey that he is fully aware of what his job entails and why his ratings and bottom line have taken hits, but he will always take the time to address issues that are important to him.

"I know my job is, for the most part, to entertain people and make them laugh. That said, if I can be selfish every once in a while and talk about something serious that’s important to me, then I do want to take that opportunity," Kimmel said.

"But I don’t want to abuse my position. I pick my battles. Ninety percent of the time, I’ll joke around, but some of the jokes, I hope, make people think," he added.

Do you think politics has a place on Kimmel's show? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.