Film / TVPolitics

jimmy fallon doesn’t get a cookie for his too-little-too-late speech about trump’s bigotry

August 15, 2017
9.7K Picks

Next up on the Tonight Show:

As amazing as publicized support is for protest, a steady, continuous support is preferred, not a fleeting, circumstantial one.

In times of crisis, celebrities have a tendency to either spread awareness, say the wrong thing, or pretend the crisis doesn’t exist. This trend of selective attention and privileged dissonance is as problematic as it is insulting, and the question arises of what is the turning point for publicized recognition? What makes it important enough?

Jimmy Fallon decided to break his political fast Monday night, opening up his show with a monologue responding to Charlottesville. As touching and “heartfelt” as it was, it was an overall lackluster announcement of where he stands. With statements like: “I think he [Trump] finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something,” the late-night host continuously back-peddled from blunt opinion, making the entire delivery pretty surface level.

It’s understandable if–as an entertainer–Fallon doesn’t want to blatantly pick sides, but when the other side is legitimately Neo-Nazis and KKK members, maybe… just maybe… it’s ok to be partisan. On a larger note, though, the real issue is in the lack of public support Fallon has offered for constant battles like Black Lives Matter or the potent xenophobia in this country. With the tragic death of protester Heather Heyer, he felt he needed to set an example for his daughters, but with the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castille, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, and so forth: silence.

This is not to compare deaths, or start a game of Oppression Olympics–a loss is a loss–but it is important to notice what makes figures like Fallon “sick to his stomach” and what is too frequent and/or controversial to acknowledge.