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After Jimmy Kimmel Called Out Texas TV Station For Cutting School Shooting Monologue Short, The Station Responded

Soon after having to bow out of hosting his talk show due to testing positive for COVID, Jimmy Kimmel took a different approach to his monologue on Wednesday night. Rather than the traditional method of joking about topical news with an in-house audience, Kimmel opted for a pre-taped monologue within a mostly emptied studio, where he shared his emotional response to the tragic elementary school shooting that took place on Tuesday, May 24, and left 19 Texan children dead. Not everyone in the country saw Kimmel’s impassioned delivery, however, as a local ABC affiliate in the Dallas - Fort Worth area unexpectedly cut into the monologue, which obviously caused a stir with Kimmel and his fanbase.

Jimmy Kimmel took to social media on Wednesday night after he was alerted to the fact that the affiliate station WFAA broke away from the telecast mid-monologue, sharing this message (along with a video link): 

To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out.

Considering how sensitive an issue school shootings are in the U.S. at any given point, inspired emotions to peak all around, it’s arguably understandable that viewers would be suspicious about a Texas-based network affiliate cutting away from a monologue in which Jimmy Kimmel was critical of the state and its political bodies. But WFAA’s director of digital content Pete Freedman responded to the talk show host’s message on Twitter with a limited explanation, saying:

We'd made the decision earlier in the day to extend our 10 o'clock news to include *extra* Uvalde coverage in our broadcast, it had nothing to do with your monlogue. We're on the same team. 🤝

Not everyone was swayed by Freedman’s reasoning, pointing out that extending the prior coverage wouldn’t have resulted in Jimmy Kimmel’s segment being interrupted in the middle. But the station itself offered more clarification, tweeting out an apology to Kimmel and viewers for what happened, and advising curious parties to read its full explanation on its website. Here’s how the station higher-ups put it:

Jimmy Kimmel Live! aired immediately following our newscast. Unfortunately, the automated system that triggers commercials aired the first commercial break in error, interrupting Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue. The same technical error also impacted two commercial breaks later in the program, not just the one interrupting the monologue. WFAA apologizes for this error.

Clearly, not as many people were concerned about the other two impromptu commercial breaks that disrupted later points of Jimmy Kimmel Live!'s episode. But the reason claimed by WFAA does make sense, if it's legitimate. The timing could not have been worse, obviously. 

The former Man Show host, who paved the way for Joe Rogan, has long held a public feud with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and he's been far more active over the years in taking shots at political bigwigs than he has at making even friendly attacks his fellow talk show hosts. One can't imagine that will stop after the mass shooting tragedy in Uvalde, whose native Matthew McConaughey also shared a public and emotional plea

Due to the Uvalde elementary shooting, CBS' FBI postponed this week's planned season finale, which involved a school shooter, while other shows and projects have amended or cancelled planned promotional events. 

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.