Jimmy Meant To Ruffle Some Hair; Ruffled Feathers Instead

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is receiving less than favorable reviews this weekend, following Thursday night’s playful guest segment with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Host Jimmy Fallon welcomed his guest not out of character–in his typical bubbly fanboy manner–but this time the persona that has enables him to do so well in late night didn’t do him any favors.

During the interview, The Donald and Fallon talk as pals, discussing board games, fast food, his “bromance” with Vladimir Putin, and how he gives the show a lot of material because he says shocking things.

Just for a little review, here’s some shocking things Trump has said.

About women:

“You know it really doesn’t matter what they write, as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” – to Esquire in 1991.

“There was blood coming out of her eyes… blood coming out of her… wherever.” – to CNN, referencing Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly, in 2015.

“Women; You have to treat them like shit.” – to New York magazine in 1992.

His VP nominee Mike Pence has stated that under a Trump Administration landmark decision  Roe v. Wade will be overturned. 

About African-Americans and Jewish people:

“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza — black guys counting my money!” “I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else. . . . Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” -in former employee, Joe O’Donnell’s memoir about working with Trump.

“A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market,” Trump said on the program. “I think sometimes a black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that. I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I believe they do have an actual advantage.”Trump said on an NBC-TV special called “Racial Attitudes and Consciousness Exam,” hosted by Bryant Gumbel.

About Mexicans:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” “And some I assume are good people,” he added.

About Muslims:

“I would hate to do it but it would be something that you’re going to have strongly consider because some of the ideas, some of the hatred—the absolute hatred—is coming from these areas.” -Trump in November when asked if this administration would consider shutting down mosques.

Trump has said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S.

Also shocking but uncategorized:

Donald Trump also said he believes the world would be much better off if Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power.

Though not out of character for the usually friendly Jimmy Fallon, many viewers were off put by his light-heartedness towards Donald Trump and took it straight to Twitter.

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As a long time fan of Jimmy Fallon, scrolling through my timeline today was hard, but I am also not one to blindly-follow, so here is where the discussion begins:

Jimmy Fallon has for a long time branded himself as everyone’s friend. It has worked great for him. He fans over his guests just like anyone would, with “You’re so great”’s and “I love you”’s. See best friend Justin Timberlake’s celebrity impression of him here.

As viewers, this brand makes us too feel like Jimmy is our friend. We share TV dinners with him, occasionally tweet him, watch the show’s snapchat amidst our other friend’s snapchat stories–it feels real. Perhaps this is why so many are upset, Jimmy is a friend who seems to be friends with someone who a lot of people don’t want to be friends with, and he’s okay with that.

Jimmy Fallon is a comedian. He’s not a journalist. Does he have an obligation to fact-check Trump and get serious? Absolutely not. However that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like him to, you know, at least acknowledge something for the sake of women, POC, and other things threatened by comments Trump has made.

The more I thought about how lightly glossed over the “shocking” things Trump has said was, the more I am confused. When I watched the segment back I was even more bothered watching Fallon throw his hands back in laughter when Trump says Monopoly was his favorite game (Was it really THAT funny?).

It also got me thinking, how come Fallon hasn’t said anything? I understand that he tries to remain neutral, but he doesn’t really have to do that. Just a timeslot later, Seth Meyers does it. He has a Closer Look segment on Trump almost every week. Samantha Bee does it on TBS. Stephen Colbert and John Stewart have done it. John Oliver has done it. So, why not Jimmy? Jimmy, a friend of everyone, a friend of women, POC, and a friend to many that Trump has said some “shocking” things about. I can’t For help but wonder how The Roots felt during all of this, as someone who hasn’t condemned the KKK’s support of himself sat across them on stage and joked around with their friend Jimmy. Weird, right?

Jimmy Fallon meant to ruffle his hands through Trump’s infamous hair, but in doing so he ruffled a lot of feathers. I truly wonder if he will address this and how The Tonight Show will choose to move forward. I doubt this will turn away viewers from watching the show, but it certainly has a left a bad taste in some mouths.

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