Jimmy Kimmel has ridiculed Fox News host Tucker Carlson, describing him as a “man-Karen” following Carlson’s description of children wearing masks as “child abuse”.
The host’s bizarre rant received substantial backlash after the right-wing pundit said it should be “illegal” to make children wear masks during his primetime show on Monday.
“As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal,” Mr Carlson said.
The controversial personality continued by saying that Americans who see children wearing masks “should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart”.
On Tuesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel hit back at Carlson, calling him “America’s favourite man-Karen” and a “child”.
“What kind of analogy is that?” Kimmel said in reference to Carlson’s comparison to abuse. “I mean, who’s at home nodding along with that?”
“The guy said nothing after Sandy Hook,” he said before adding: “Now he wants you to call the cops: ‘There’s a kid with cotton on his face.’”
In the worrying original segment, Carlson went on to encourage his viewers to “call the police immediately” if they saw a child wearing a mask as protection against the novel coronavirus.
He said: “Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”
The host did not give any evidence for his claims throughout the clip, during which he also encouraged viewers to confront anyone in public wearing a mask.
Kimmel hit back: “Is it possible that Tucker Carlson is actually a top-secret Sacha Baron Cohen character that he’s going to reveal to us? It’s the only explanation we have left.”
Carlson’s speech prompted calls for his resignation with some condemning his statements as “dangerous” and an “act of incitement” to physical violence.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance advising that Americans who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer need to wear masks outdoors except in crowds.
The health agency said that people who have been fully vaccinated in the US may go without masks when walking, jogging, or biking outdoors with household members.
The CDC urged both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to continue to wear masks at sporting events, concerts, live performances, and parades.
On its website, the CDC says “masks are an additional step to help prevent people from getting and spreading Covid-19. They provide a barrier that keeps respiratory droplets from spreading”.
The United States has recorded over 32.2 million cases of the novel coronavirus since the outbreak gripped the country last year, leading to the deaths of over 573,000 people.