Jimmy Kimmel is no stranger to controversy. In fact, over the course of the last few years, the comedian has managed to upset Chinese-Americans, YouTube watching Americans, and the “Let’s Play” community. But who would have thought that PB&J sandwiches would land Kimmel and the cast of Stranger Things in hot water?
(Yeah. Not me.)
But that is exactly what happened on Sunday night.
You see, on Sunday Kimmel hosted the 68th annual Emmy Awards. During one sketch, the comedian quipped about the length of award shows. He joked that many of members of the audience probably hadn’t eaten since Labor Day, and he implied everyone must be hungry. (Hell, everyone was probably starving.) But then he implored the audience not to worry because he had a “surprise.” Kimmel had a plan.
“Is anyone hungry right now?” Kimmel asked before inviting the cast of Stranger Things — Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo — to join him in distributing thousands of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches supposedly made by his mother. (In character, and on their signature bikes).
Now, here’s the thing: When I saw the video, I thought it was cute and funny. A no harm, no foul sorta joke. It was good, clean humor. However, the internet reminded me — as they do time and time again — that nothing is beyond the anger, rage, and criticism of the Twittersphere.
First, Los Angeles Times writer Gerrick D. Kennedy criticized the “quality” of said sandwiches.
Then Gone Girl Emily Ratajkowski reportedly told TMZ the sandwiches “weren’t that good.” (Way to look a gift horse in the mouth, Ratajkowski.)
And then another attendee was overheard complaining that peanut butter was a bad choice, according to the LA Times:
“You never just hand out peanut butter. That’s such a liability.”
Make no mistake: Food allergies are serious. They are dangerous, and food allergies — especially peanut allergies — can be life-threatening. And Adam Bailine, VP of Marketing and Communications at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, told MUNCHIES that “it is extremely risky to pull a stunt like this without considering the danger.”
However, neither Kimmel, the Stranger Things cast, and/or Emmy officials have disclosed if real peanut butter was used, nor has it been revealed if the audience was given a heads up about the bit before they entered the theater. (And given how hyper-vigilant many Americans now are about food allergies, I’m betting this matter was discussed in advance and/or a substitute product was actually spread on those sandwiches.)
Regardless, no one was hurt. No one got sick, and (otherwise) the sketch went off without a hitch.
So can we all just step back now and breathe? Can we all just appreciate a joke for what it was — a joke? And can we all stop crapping on Mama Kimmel’s sandwiches?!
Seriously. You do you, Mama Kimmel. You do you.