Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel struggled to keep his composure Wednesday while speaking about the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed two teachers and 19 children.
In an emotional plea, the father of four urged lawmakers to correct their mistakes and enact stricter gun legislation to prevent another tragedy like the Uvalde massacre.
On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire on a fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School, the site of the deadliest U.S. school shooting since Sandy Hook.
"I wanted to speak to you directly without an audience for just a bit before we start the show, because here we are again on another day of mourning in this country," Kimmel said at the beginning of Wednesday's show. "Once again, we grieve for the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed, while our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News ... warn us not to politicize this.
"They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it, because they don't want to speak about it. Because they know what they've done, and they know what they haven't done, and they know that it's indefensible, so they'd rather sweep this under the rug."
Shortly after the somber "Jimmy Kimmel Live" monologue aired, ABC affiliate WFAA/Ch. 8 — a TV station serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area — was accused of censoring the host's remarks by cutting to commercial for a significant portion of the opening.
"To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out," Kimmel tweeted Wednesday night, along with a YouTube link to the full video. "In the meantime, here's what you didn't get to see."
In response to Kimmel's inquiry, WFAA and its director of digital content, Pete Freedman, offered conflicting explanations for the ill-timed commercial break.
"We'd made the decision earlier in the day to extend our 10 o'clock news to include *extra* Uvalde coverage in our broadcast," Freedman responded to Kimmel on Twitter. "We're on the same team."
However, an official statement from WFAA claimed that "the automated system that triggers commercials aired the first commercial break in error" and apologized on Thursday "for last night's technical difficulties."