The Toxic Truth Behind American Late Night Talk Shows!

By Rylee 9 months ago

Tucker Carlson spat with Fox News

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Following a lost legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems in April 2023, Fox News had no choice but to fire late-night host Tucker Carlson. Moreover, a complaint was made by one of the show's producers, citing sexism and anti semitic harassment. Some of his devoted audiences regarded the move as discriminatory to Tucker's freedom of speech.

Kelly Clarkson show

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Rolling Stone magazine published information from ten former staffers of NBC's Kelly Clarkson show, highlighting the harassment and intimidation behind the scenes. According to the confessions, the show underpaid its staff despite its high ratings. However, the show host, Kelly Clarkson, denied the allegations and maintained that her team was well cared for.

Whoopi Goldberg and the Nazis

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Late-night show host Whoopi Goldberg was under fire in January 2022 because she made ignorant comments about the Holocaust. According to Whoopi, the Holocaust was not about race but man’s inhumanity. However, we all know that Hitler committed his atrocities based on his view that Jews were inferior. She was forced to apologize on social media and the show.

James Corden and Asian food

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During the ‘Spill Your Guts’ segment on the Late Night Show, James Corden made an insensitive portrayal of Asian cuisine. Whenever a guest failed to answer a difficult question, they were served Asian food labeled as ‘disgusting’ and other mean terms. It was a clear case of cultural denigration, and James was forced to apologize for his anti-Asian sentiments.

The Tonight Show

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The Tonight Show has been an arena for rivalry among various hosts. When Jay Leno was asked to host the show after Johnny Carson left, David Letterman was embroiled in a spat with him for decades. The wrangle between them was legendary. It inspired a non-fiction book called ‘The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night.’

Exposing Ellen DeGeneres

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Comedian Kevin T. Porter 2020 encouraged Twitter users to narrate experiences with late-night host Ellen DeGeneres. Few people believed there would be blotches on ‘the kindest show host on American television.’ However, anonymous former employees of the show revealed that the production fostered meanness, aggression, and harassment.

Jimmy Fallon and the blackface

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In a case of skeletons walking out of the closet, a photo of Jimmy Fallon resurfaced on the internet, revealing how, in 2000, he wore blackface to impersonate comedian Chris Rock. During this time, Fallon hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’. He had to take a week’s leave from the ‘Tonight’ show amid the controversy. However, he apologized for his offensive acts in the past.

Alec Baldwin and the homophobic slur

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MSNBC 2013 was forced to terminate Alec Baldwin’s late-night show called ‘Up Late with Alec Baldwin’ after uttering a homophobic slur to a paparazzi. The award-winning Hollywood actor had only hosted five episodes before the abrupt end of his show. Despite apologizing for the incident, Alec fell out of favor with audiences because of his bigotry.

Tucker Carlson and Jon Stewart

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When Tucker Carlson hosted ‘Crossfire’ in CNN in 2004, a conflict arose between him and ‘The Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart. Carlson insulted Jon after he alleged that the show was nothing but a partisan organ to propel half-truths. Jon defended his show by claiming it was a comic engagement with national affairs but not one responsible for informing citizens.

Nick Cannon's anti-Semitism

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Nick Cannon was at the center of an anti-Semitic controversy that led to expulsion from ViacomCBS. While he was the host of MTV and Nickelodeon shows, Nick made disparaging remarks about Jews. He claimed that black people were the real Hebrews, a conspiracy theory regarded as hate speech. He later apologized for the incident.

Jesse Watters' primetime

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During the premiere of ‘Jesse Watters’ Primetime’ on Fox News, the host received a lashing from his mother who called in the show. Dr. Anne Watters, a child psychologist, warned her son against purveying unfounded conspiracies. She was concerned that her son may invite lawsuits because of his raucous tone.

Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, Tonight

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The Tonight Show made changes in 2009 by replacing its host, Jay Leno, with Conan O'Brien. However, O'Brien would have his contract revoked after seven months. The man to replace him? Jay Leno. It turns out that the show's producers rescinded their decision, not without creating a rift between the comedians.

Jimmy Kimmel and China

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In a segment of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, the host asked children how America could pay off its debt to China. One of the children enthusiastically said, “Kill everyone in China.” The kernel of the backlash came when Jimmy replied, “That’s an interesting idea.” The joke was perceived to be in bad fashion because of the anti-Asian wave that has recently become prevalent.

Admission to a sex scandal

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David Letterman confessed to sleeping with one of his employees during his late-night show. He claimed that he was being blackmailed for the act and had to seek protection from the Manhattan district attorney. A false check they wired to the blackmailer helped them to have him arrested. However, it did not erase the fact that he had sex with members of his staff. Creepy!

Jimmy Kimmel and Detroit

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Jimmy Kimmel makes jokes that sometimes don’t auger well with audiences. Perhaps because they are too low and insensitive. During the 2004 NBA finals between the Detroit Pistons and Lakers, Kimmel suggested that Detroit should be burned down if the Pistons emerged victorious. He apologized after a stirrup from a local ABC news affiliate.

Jimmy Fallon and Donald Trump

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During an interview with Donald Trump in 2016, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon asked clownish questions that would provide no valuable insight about the Republican presidential candidate. Perhaps it is because the Tonight Show is not political, some have argued. But the entire interview was a joke. He should have done a more intelligent job.

Unnecessary interruption

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Late-night shows tend to invite guests who won’t even get the proper opportunity to narrate their experiences. The host, in comic euphoria talks, interrupts the guest's speech to crack a joke. When Jimmy Fallon invited Dakota Johnson to narrate her experience after being sprayed by a skunk, he interrupted her several times until she blasted him for it.

Stephen Colbert and his homophobic joke

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The Trump administration was a repulsive moment for liberal late-night shows like Stephen Colbert’s at CBS. In a satirical jab, Colbert could not check his words and made a homophobic joke about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Audiences were angered by his subtle assumption that homosexuality was a reprehensible thing.

Trevor Noah's sexism

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Trevor might sound like the sweetest being on American television, but his jokes have sometimes crossed the decency border. When joking about a wedding proposal, he said that men go down on one knee so that they can easily swing an uppercut punch at the woman if the proposal should be rejected. Low blow!

War jokes

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In ‘The Daily Show,’ Trevor Noah has commented on various international affairs. But late-night shows tend to misconstrue events in unimpressive ways. When joking about the conflict between India and Pakistan, Trevor said it would be the most entertaining war ever. War is not an entertaining prospect, considering how many people die.

Stealing Jokes

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Conan O'Brien was embroiled in a plagiarist charge in 2015 after being accused of stealing jokes. There are plenty of talented comedians who remain unnoticed, and late-night show hosts of superior networks steal ideas and jokes from them. Robert Alexander Kaseberg sued O'Brien, claiming five of his jokes had been picked from his blog and Twitter account.

Fallon’s mistreatment claims

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Fourteen former employees of Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight’ show revealed disturbing details about the show's work environment. According to these anonymous lamentations, Fallon reportedly came to work in a drunken state, exhibiting erratic behavior that affected the employees' mental health. The show host later apologized for his aggressive behavior.

Bill Maher and the N-word

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Bill Maher is not new to controversy. However, he was blasted when he deliberately mentioned the n-word. To make matters worse, Bill's excuse for using the word was annoying and unsatisfactory. He could just have apologized for using it; instead, he mentioned that he did not do it to express racist sentiments but did it for comedic purposes.

Horatio Sanz and an underage girl

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Former Saturday Night Live comedian Horatio Sanz found himself in hot soup. In 2021, a girl who worked with him twenty years earlier accused him of sexually assaulting her. The incident occurred after a party for the NBC sketch show. Despite the seriousness of this charge, Sanz was able to settle the case out of court with her.

Pay your writers!

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The recent WGA strike has exposed the media and Hollywood as exploitative avenues. Late-night show hosts like Jimmy Fallon have not been left behind. According to an employee, Fallon said he won’t pay writers on strike. As Jimmy posted the ‘Legend of Zelda’ on Bluesky, writers mocked him, saying it was the funniest thing he had done in a long time.

Attention thief

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Making a golden speech during your awarding ceremony is a big thing. All eyes and ears should be on you. During the speech of actress Quinta Brunson, after receiving her first Emmy, Jimmy Kimmel lay on the stage the entire time. It was a theatrical moment that many criticized for stealing Brunson's moment. Later, when hosting her at the show, Kimmel apologized.

The Weinstein joke

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Harvey Weinstein was embroiled in sexual assault charges that shocked the world. When scores of actresses spoke out against him, his indictment was sealed. However, late-night show hosts like James Corden habitually joke about such vile incidents—a depiction of insensitivity. Sexual abuse cannot be made light through jokes.

An abusive customer

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Character runs deep, and James Corden may not be the jolly face we see on TV. A restaurant in New York banned him from visiting their establishment after he abused one of their staff. Makes you wonder if he replicates this behavior with his production team. Although he apologized, there is reason to be concerned about the work environment of his staff.

Promotion

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Late-night show hosts are not free to invite some guests as they would love. The television affiliates they work for own a great deal of decisions to be made on the studio. Take Jimmy Kimmel, for instance. His show has become a haven for ABC guest actors promoting films and shows that are not very interesting. Content tends to be bogged down with flavorless dialogue.

Homophobic Leno

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In 2008, during the ‘Tonight’ Show, Jay Leno audaciously asked actor Ryan Phillipe to make his gayest face. Phillipe, who played the role of an openly gay character in ‘One Life to Live (1992 – 1193), was visibly upset by the request, which had the LGBT community cry foul. Leno apologized for the comments and said that he made the dumb request, thinking it was a joke.