In the place of ABC’s late-night Jimmy Kimmel: The “Man Show” Jimmy Kimmel. The only thing missing were the women on trampolines.
Kimmel took aim Thursday at the Christian proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. For the late-night funny man, the takeaway from Jack Phillips’ refusal to bake a cake celebrating a trans person’s transition is that the cakemaker might be gay, and that he sure looks gay.
“It’s funny because this is a guy who spends all day, every day, meticulously designing flowers out of icing. His whole life is gay, OK?” Kimmel said to laughs. “I don’t know if the wrong cake might bring that to life or what.”
The late-night host turned his attention to the shop owner’s physical appearance, adding for good measure that Phillips is “the totally straight cake baker.”
“You would think that someone who looks like the Reba McEntire’s version of Col. Sanders would be more sympathetic to gender identity issues,” the host laughed.
You see, the joke is that bakers are gay. Cakes and icing are gay. Flowers are gay. It’s the “Man Show”! Let’s go hunt deer with our bare hands!
Even sadder than these jokes is the fact that this is par for the course for Kimmel. He has gone after Phillips before with the same dishonest framing.
The cake maker isn’t declining requests based only on who makes them. He’s declining to participate in celebrating something he believes is a moral evil. It’s an Important distinction, because he serves all comers — gay, transsexual, you name it. Phillips has always maintained that “all people — no matter who they are, what they believe, or what protected characteristics they have. Are “welcome” in his shop and “may purchase anything available for sale,” he says.
Where Phillips draws the line is when he’s asked to make “custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his religious beliefs.”
The latest dust-up between Phillips and Colorado started when an attorney asked the cake maker last year to design a cake “with a blue exterior and pink interior, which the caller said would visually depict and celebrate a gender transition,” according to the lawsuit filed this week by Masterpiece Cakeshop against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
It added, “Phillips declined to make the cake based on his religious beliefs.”
A civil rights complaint was then filed against the shop. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against Phillips, and he, in turn, responded by suing the Colorado Commission and Gov. John Hickenlooper. This may also go all the way to the Supreme Court, which already ruled the state could not compel Phillips to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
These late-night guys aren’t newsmen. But if they’re not going to be funny, they could at least try to get the proper context for the stories they address.