Jimmy Fallon Talks Trump Hair-Ruffling: “I Almost Did it to Minimize Him”
Jimmy Fallon has opened up about his much-maligned playful interview with Donald Trump last fall, during which the Tonight Show host rumpled the future president’s hair.
Fallon’s behavior was swiftly criticized as normalizing a divisive candidate prone to making shocking statements and using hateful rhetoric.
Speaking to The New York Times in an extended profile, Fallon seems disappointed by the response to the incident and reveals he thinks he should have addressed the backlash on his show.
“They have a right to be mad,” Fallon says. “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”
“I didn’t do it to humanize him,” Fallon explains. “I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.’”
The swift backlash once the interview aired, however, led Fallon to avoid Twitter and online news.
“I’m a people pleaser,” he tells the Times. “If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun.”
Still, Fallon didn’t address the controversy on-air and acknowledges that he “should have.”
“I didn’t talk about it, and I should have…