Disney Was Pressured to Censor Jimmy Kimmel

Disney Pressured to Censor Kimmel
Censoring the talk show host Jimmy Kimmel was reportedly on Disney's censors' minds.

Disney has had a long and complicated history with censorship. And now a new story has come to light about the company and its issues with censoring the talent on family of Networks.

Rolling Stone reports that in 2018 Disney received calls from officials in the Donald Trump White House attempting to pressure Disney to censor late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. The magazine reports that Trump is upset with several of the jokes that Kimmel made at his expense while he was President.

Kimmel’s show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, airs on ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company. The show recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary on the network.

Disney Pressured to Censor Kimmel

Credit: Rolling Stone

According to the report, several officials within the Trump White House called Disney’s top lobbyist in Washington DC, Richard Bates, attempting to pressure the company into censuring Kimmel or at least get him to ease off a bit. The calls took place in Early 2018, just as Trump was completing his first year in office.

Bates represented Disney for more than 30 years in DC, lobbying on behalf of the company.  According to Rolling Stone, he died suddenly at his home in Washington on Dec. 30, 2020.

Ultimately, Disney did not intervene and Kimmel continued to do his show unabated.

The company came under fire earlier this month when episodes from The Simpsons were pulled from Disney+ because of references to Chinese forced labor camps.

Disney Pressured to Censor Kimmel

Marvel and Disney have made several changes to the MCU to accommodate the Chinese government, including removing references to Russia in Iron Man 2 and changing an iPhone to a Chinese-made phone. While those changes may seem minor, Disney has also had to make sweeping changes to movies to meet Chinese censorship standards.

During the Bob Chapek era as Disney CEO, many of the movies in the MCU were not released in China, but with the return of Bob Iger, it seems that Disney and China are once again on friendly terms. Two days after Iger was placed back in charge of the Walt Disney Company, Avatar: The Way of Water was permitted to be released in China. Thus far, the movie has grossed more than $250 million in China. Both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania have also been permitted to be released in China.

Disney Pressured to Censor Kimmel

The relationship between Disney and China has caused numerous problems for the Disney Company at home, but it has also been incredibly lucrative. At home, Disney has been accused of profiting off the oppression of an entire people and ignoring genocide.

The Company, at least in the case of Kimmel, did not censor talent in the United States, but those in other countries are not so lucky.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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