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Jimmy Fallon Still Hasn't Acknowledged the Horatio Sanz Lawsuit

Maybe someone could ask him.

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Seth Simons

Jan 26 2022

5 mins read

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Sorry, I must have hit my head or something. I seem to be hallucinating chatter about whether Jimmy Fallon might “get in trouble” for showing off an NFT on television the other night. I only have a few minutes before I head out to the hospital to get this bump on my skull looked at, so I’ll try to make this quick. 

‎Apparently the LA Times found that by plugging his “Bored Ape” NFT on The Tonight Show this week, Fallon might have violated NBC’s and Comcast’s conflict of interest policies. For context, an NFT is some sort of gewgaw rich people are scamming their fans into buying, and NBC is the television network that let Elon Musk advertise what’s called “Dogecoin” last year. After giving Tiffany Haddish a chance to explain that she’s got a great lawyer handling her recent DUI charge, Fallon had a normal human conversation with Paris Hilton about their shared passion for magical digital ape-based artwork. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of the audience not knowing what’s going on but applauding anyway, just like in every other episode.

‎According to the Times, NBC’s policies state that employees should “not let outside interests or activities interfere with [their] business judgment or responsibilities to the company.” Comcast, NBC’s parent company, has a policy requiring that employees “disclose and obtain approval for all outside work, financial interests and other personal activities/relationships that may create or appear to create a conflict,” and further that they not “use company info, resources, time, etc. for personal benefit.” 

“If Fallon’s use of show time to flex his ape were to boost its resale value,” the Times suggests, “it would seemingly be a case of using company resources for personal benefit.” In a blog post about the article, UPROXX told its readers that “Fallon could actually be in trouble for trying to pump his NFT on viewers.”

No. No!! Listen to me. Listen to me. Jimmy Fallon is not in trouble. There is no question here. NBC said so right there in the Times article: “An NBC spokesperson said that Fallon did not violate the company’s conflict of interest policy, noting that hosts are able to promote outside projects such as books and movies.” Do not dwell for one second of your precious life on the possibility that anything more than Twitter dunks might come of this. There are so many things worth hoping for in this world—that the pandemic might end, or that an evil person might die in addition to all the good ones we've lost recently. Save your hope for the worthy; waste it not on the odds that NBC, which knew about Matt Lauer long before the news broke, might enforce its policies against Jimmy Fallon.

Here is what we all need to understand about Fallon: he exists to make people money. Piles and piles of the stuff. That’s what he does. That’s what he’s for. That’s why his writers get paid very well to write sketches they’re embarrassed to talk to their friends about. That’s why celebrities go on his show. That’s why Vulture and the New York Times aggregate his clips even though everyone who works there knows he sucks. That’s why we all constantly have to hear and talk and think about him, a comedian who hasn’t produced any noteworthy comedy in years. He doesn’t exist for you, he doesn’t exist for me. He’s an ATM machine for C-suite execs and robber barons, the people destroying the world around us. Press a few buttons, beep boop beep boop, get a nice wad of cash. How nice for them.

Do you think they let their ATM do anything they don't know about? Of course not. NBC knew Fallon was gonna whip out his Ape. This wasn’t improv. The guest was booked, the talking points prepared, the pictures printed and placed behind his desk. This was a planned promotion, full stop. That means NBC stands to profit from it as much as Fallon, if not more. If you think massive media conglomerates aren't trying to milk the NFT bubble too, well, I've got an NFT to sell you.

There are only four or five things I talk about in this newsletter over and over again, so you probably know what’s coming next. It is striking to me that Fallon received vastly more media attention for this dull piece of sponsored content than he has for his featured role in the lawsuit against Horatio Sanz. As you’ll recall, the plaintiff alleges that both Fallon and Sanz—who shared an office for five years, as Fallon said in 2019—emailed her when she was a teenager running a Fallon fansite. She started attending SNL tapings and afterparties, one of which Fallon let her into. In one instance, Fallon chatted with her while she drank a beer, inquiring about her college plans. He even introduced her to Lorne Michaels, who asked her about her fansite. It was against this backdrop, allegedly, that Sanz groomed and assaulted her, acts he apparently admitted to in the summer and fall of 2019, in texts quoted in the complaint. To give you some context, his most recent appearances on The Tonight Show were in June 2019 and May 2020.

Could Jimmy Fallon get in trouble for any of that? It would be nice if anyone bothered to ask.


Header image via NBC/YouTube.

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