Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel was bashed by fans of the show who felt his flippant behavior toward a Nobel peace prize winner who had been shot by the Taliban was disrespectful.
Kimmel approached Taliban shooting survivor Malala Yousafzai, whose documentary, “Stranger At The Gate,” was nominated for an Oscar. Malala was only 15 years old when she was shot after being hunted down by the Taliban in Pakistan.
During a break in the show, Kimmel, 55, went to Malala, now 25, and asked her a question from a fan, stating, “She asked, your work on human rights and education for women and children is an inspiration–as the youngest Nobel prize winner in history, do you think Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?”
Malala, looking uncomfortable, responded, “I only talk about peace.”
Following that interchange an attendee dressed as a real-life “Cocaine Bear” crawled down the aisle and started harassing Malala, prompting Kimmel to say, “Cocaine bear, leave Malala alone!”
Malala was shot in the head in 2012 because she defied the ban on attending school implemented for women by the Pakistani Taliban. The attack was ordered by the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah.
“I spoke out publicly on behalf of girls and our right to learn. And this made me a target,” Malala has recalled. “In October 2012, on my way home from school, a masked gunman boarded my school bus and asked, ‘Who is Malala?’ He shot me on the left side of my head. I woke up 10 days later in a hospital in Birmingham, England.”
In March 2018, the Trump Administration offered $5 million for information leading to the identification or location of Fazlullah, the head of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group (TTP). Fazlullah had been linked to the 2010 attempted Times Square car bombing in New York, but his most evil acts had come against children, including the order to massacre 132 of them at a Peshawar school in December 2014. As the Telegraph reported:
Seven Taliban gunmen stormed into the Peshawar’ school, shooting and bombing children, killing 132 of them in their classrooms and the school auditorium. They also burned teachers alive in front of their pupils. The headmistress, Tahira Qazi, was blown up with a hand grenade as she cowered in a bathroom.
Fans bashed Kimmel with comments such as these:
“jimmy kimmel is a national disgrace. this woman deserves better.”
“I hope Jimmy Kimmel pays for making Malala answer that question. She deserves better than that!”
“’Watching the #Oscars from home, I was absolutely horrified with the interaction between @jimmykimmel and @Malala Jimmy, you were incredibly disrespectful.”
“I love @jimmykimmel but his interaction with Malala was one of the worst and most painful things I’ve seen on TV in so many years.”
“why did jimmy kimmel and the cocaine bear just harass malala oh my god leave her alone.”
“Malala looked so uncomfortable when jimmy kimmel was harassing her with his comedy.”
“Malala has a nobel peace prize and they have her dealing with cocaine bear and jimmy kimmel.”
Malala responded to the video of her interaction with Kimmel by simply tweeting, “Treat people with kindness.”