Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Feud With Jimmy Kimmel Over A Will Smith Joke, Explained


Here’s how a feud between right-wing firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and comedian Jimmy Kimmel started with a Will Smith joke, and led to the congresswoman reporting a “threat of violence” to the Capitol Police.

Key Facts

Kimmel criticized a tweet from Greene on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night, where she claimed the three Republican senators who have pledged to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court are “pro-pedophile.”

Greene’s pedophile claims appear to refer to questioning from GOP senators over Jackson’s judicial record, some of whom suggested she gave overly light sentences to child pornography offenses—allegations Jackson refuted and the American Bar Association said had no evidence to support.

After reading Greene’s tweet, Kimmel asked the audience, “Wow, where is Will Smith when you really need him?” in a reference to the actor slapping Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head at the Academy Awards ceremony last month.

Greene posted a clip of the joke to Twitter on Wednesday, saying she had filed a report with the Capitol Police over the “threat of violence against” her.

Kimmel responded to the tweet on Wednesday night, saying “Officer, I’d like to report a joke.”

Greene’s office said in a statement to Forbes that Kimmel calling for “violence to be committed against” Greene “will not be tolerated,” adding it takes all threats of violence against the congresswoman very seriously.

A representative for Kimmel did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

What We Don’t Know

The Capitol Police has strengthened efforts to protect lawmakers from violent threats after the Capitol riots on January 6, though it is unclear if the Capitol Police consider Kimmel’s comments an actual threat. The Capitol Police said in a statement to Forbes it “cannot confirm or discuss any potential investigations.”

Key Background

Baseless Republican accusations of pedophilia have increased in recent years, which Slate reported may, in part, be appealing to the GOP due to the party’s family-values rhetoric and identity. Former President Donald Trump falsely suggested then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden was a pedophile in September 2020, and Republican officials accused his son, Hunter Biden, of having images on a hard drive that documents his supposed history of child abuse—which there is no evidence to support.


Twitter permanently suspended Greene’s personal account for repeated violations of its Covid-19 misinformation policies earlier this year. Greene’s Congressional account remains active.

Further Reading

Why Republicans Have Become Obsessed With Accusing Their Opponents of Pedophilia (Slate)

Twitter Permanently Bans Marjorie Taylor Greene For Repeated Covid-19 Misinformation (Forbes)