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Jimmy Kimmel Under Fire For What Appears to Be a Xenophobic Joke about BTS + Some Are Bringing Up His Previous Anti-Asian Remarks

jimmy kimmel
Credit: @bts.bighitofficial, Jimmy Kimmel Live Youtube Channel

Jimmy Kimmel, the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, has landed in hot water for making racist remarks on the popular K-pop band BTS in the most recent episode of his talk show program.

In the latest broadcast of his talk show, the TV host made a joke comparing coronavirus variants to the boy band craze of the late 1990s. He began by saying, “These variants, all the different variants in the world right now, it reminds me of the boy bands in the late ’90s and early 2000s.”

He continued, “You had the big ones like Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, and then that mutated into O-Town and 98 Degrees. The JoBros popped up, Big Time Rush, they kept splitting off in different directions, eventually One Direction. And they took pieces, and it popped up all over the world until eventually, we get to one that’s so contagious it destroys all life on earth.”

Although the late-night host did not specifically mention BTS by their name, many fans and watchers agree that the reference is evident, mainly because he made similar comments with Ashley Park last week.

Ashley recently performed a cover of BTS’ “Dynamite” on the Netflix show Emily in Paris and revealed that she caught COVID around when RM and V of the group praised her performance, which she mistook for a visceral reaction to being excited. “You thought it was BTS fever,” Jimmy responded. “They’re both very dangerous; you’re lucky to come out of those alive.”

ARMY and others are outraged by the comparison made by the host because BTS has frequently been targeted for xenophobic jokes, particularly with COVID.

This isn’t the first time Jimmy Kimmel has been called out for making anti-Asian remarks. Five years ago, he was embroiled in controversy for making racist comments on an Asian woman’s name. Four years before that, he aired a program where he advocated for “killing everyone in China” to solve the US debt crisis. In response, people protested, prompting Jimmy and ABC to apologize.

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