Jimmy Kimmel was slammed for his “white privilege” after joking during the Emmy Awards that he planned to report British night show host John Oliver to immigration officials.
Kimmel, who hosted the virtual awards ceremony, was nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series against Oliver, who won the category for the fifth consecutive year since 2015.
“Congratulations again to John Oliver, I will be reporting him to ICE,” Kimmel quipped of the “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” host.
But the funnyman’s joke didn’t go over well with some viewers at home who called him out for being “tone-deaf.”
“My biggest fear as a kid was seeing my parents get deported by ICE,” wrote one Twitter user. “This joke was hurtful and tone deaf, @jimmykimmel.”
Another user questioned why no one involved in producing the awards show pushed back on the joke.
“the amount of white privilege it took for jimmy kimmel to get up on stage at a nationally televised event and make a joke about ice and have no one tell him that that isn’t okay, is absolutely astonishing to me,” the user wrote, adding, “what’s so funny about ice?”
Others brought up that the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host also has a history of racial insensitivity, noting he did blackface in the past, playing NBA star Karl Malone and a parody of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.”
“So Jimmy Kimmel can do Black-face and still end up on the Emmy’s where he made an ICE deportation joke… and y’all say white privilege isn’t a thing,” one user tweeted.
Oliver became a US citizen last December, according to The Hollywood Reporter.