Sean Hannity says he’s ready to move on from his feud with Jimmy Kimmel, accepting what he characterized a “forced Disney corporate apology” from the late-night host.
After Kimmel called for a cease-fire in the war of words Sunday on Twitter, Hannity responded Monday night on his eponymous Fox News program. “On the surface, to be honest, it feels more like a forced Disney corporate apology directed more towards the LBGTQ community rather than about Kimmel’s comments about the first lady,” said Hannity, who previously objected to Kimmel poking fun at Melania Trump’s accent. Kimmel’s subsequent jokes about Hannity’s unwavering support for President Trump were criticized as homophobic, prompting Kimmel to apologize to “members of the gay community.” Disney is the parent company of Kimmel’s home network, ABC.
“I believe everyone should accept apologies, that’s how I was raised, that’s what my religion teaches me, and I’m going to assume he’s sincere,” Hannity continued. “But, from my perspective, I do really kind of enjoy a good fight, and I do agree with Jimmy in the sense that it’s time to move on. For me, it was never about Hannity vs. Jimmy Kimmel. It’s a lot bigger than that for me.”
The conservative TV personality proceeded to spend the next several minutes ripping the “unprecedented” hatred and vitriol he believes have been directed toward the Trumps by a “corrupt media industrial complex.”
Eventually getting back to Kimmel specifically, Hannity invited his counterpart to come on his show, promising no “name-calling” or “anger,” and adding, “My bet is that you’ll agree with me on a lot more issues than you think.”
Despite his acceptance of the apology and the invitation, Hannity ended with a warning. “From my point of view, it’s over with Jimmy Kimmel,” he declared. “By the way, Jimmy, if you do want to start up again, I promise I’ll punch back even harder. And my producers spent all weekend compiling a lot of your highlights — or lowlights — in your career; they don’t make you look too good. So instead of airing them, we’ll put them in storage.”
Attempting to defuse the feud a day earlier, Kimmel tweeted that “vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone, and in fact, is harmful to our country.” He added, “I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady’s accent. Mrs. Trump almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings.”
Watch the full video of Hannity’s response above.