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Jimmy Kimmel Takes the High Road in Hannity Feud—Sort Of

ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 15ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 15
Kimmel has become a prominent health care advocate.Randy Holmes—ABC via Getty Images

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is ready to make nice with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

After a week of tit-for-tat jabs between the two hosts, Kimmel took to Twitter on Sunday, noting that while he “did have fun with our back and forth… the level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country.”

The mudslinging begins

It all started when Kimmel mocked Melania Trump’s accent on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week. Ever a defender of the Trump administration, Hannity used his own show to hit back, calling Kimmel a “despicable disgrace” and an “ass clown.”

Playing on Hannity’s own insult, Kimmel responded by saying to the Fox News host, “If I’m an ass clown, you are the whole ass circus,” and called him the “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey of ass clownsmanship.”

The escalation

Sending out 30 tweets between April 6 and 7, Hannity drew on videos of Kimmel on his earlier show The Man Show, in which the comedian invited women to feel his crotch. Hannity used the clip to accuse Kimmel of being “Harvey Weinstein junior.”

But then Kimmel’s comeback angered an unintended audience: the LGBT community. He wrote to Hannity, “Don’t worry – just keep tweeting – you’ll get back on top! (or does Trump prefer you on bottom?)”

Hannity came back with a similar reference to Kimmel in bed with Obama, writing, “Harvey Jr, @realDonaldTrump and I don’t have the creepy perverted relationship that you must have had with Obama. So Stop projecting. For the sake of 18 year old girls in America, Have you thought about going to Harvey Sr’s Sex Rehab? #pervertkimmel”

The apology

While Kimmel took issue with Hannity, a supporter of several men who have sexually abused women such as Ailes, O’Reilly, and Roy Moore, calling him a “pervert,” the backlash against his own dig appears to be what spurred his Sunday apology.

“By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize,” Kimmel wrote in his apology note.

It wasn’t all a mea culpa though. Kimmel threw in one last barb for good measure: “I am hopeful that Sean Hannity will learn from this too and continue his newly-found advocacy for women, immigrants and First Ladies and that he will triumph in his heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion.”

Hannity has apparently seen Kimmel’s apology and replied, saying, “I’ll have a full and comprehensive response tomorrow on Hannity,” plugging his own show.