Taking a stand. Late-night hosts responded to the horrifying violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred over the weekend and slammed President Donald Trump’s response during their shows on Monday, August 14.
On Saturday, August 12, white supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, where they clashed with counter-protestors. A car drove into the crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman and injuring dozens of others. Trump, 71, initially blamed “many sides” for the violence in his Saturday statement, and didn’t denounce the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists until Monday.
The Late Late Show With James Corden
Host James Corden focused on Trump’s slow reaction. “How did it take him so long to condemn this? Trump condemns Nazis today the way my 4-year-old son does when I ask him to put dishes in the dishwasher. ‘Fine, I’ll do it,’” Corden said.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon spoke about standing up against racism and setting an example for the next generation. “Even though The Tonight Show isn’t a political show, it’s my responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being. What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting,” he said. “I can’t look at my beautiful, growing, curious daughters and say nothing when this kind of thing is happening. We all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists, and stand up for what is right and civil and kind.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Jimmy Kimmel also dedicated a segment to the violence and Trump’s original statement. “All he had to do was condemn the Nazis,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been a difficult thing. It’s not exactly a controversial stance. It’s not like we asked him to come out against puppies or something. They’re Nazis and Klan members and people who put pineapple on pizza, they’re terrible people.”
Late Night With Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers had some harsh words for the president and said his choice of words made him feel sick to his stomach. “The leader of our country is called the president because he’s supposed to preside over society,” he said. “His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us. And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he is not a president. You can stand for a nation or you can stand for a hateful movement. You can’t do both. And if you don’t make the right choice, I am confident that the American voter will.”
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
The president’s comments about “many sides” struck a chord with Stephen Colbert. “Many sides? Mr. President, this is terrorism, not your order at KFC. ‘I’d like the ten-piece bucket with potato wedges, fries, mashed—you know what? Many sides. Many sides. Cole slaw…,’” he said. “I have seen angrier Yelp reviews, and they weren’t afraid to use the word ‘Nazi’ when describing how long their jalapeno poppers took.”
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