Jimmy Kimmel called out for comments amid Louis C.K.'s controversial comeback

Jimmy Kimmel turned heads with his comments about Louis C.K.'s attempted comeback.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter focused on his announcement that he's partnering with Caesars Entertainment to open a comedy club in Las Vegas next year, the late-night host was asked about how he would go about vetting and booking comics, considering the backlash that the Comedy Cellar has faced for giving Louis C.K. a platform to perform twice in the last two months, despite C.K.'s admission that allegations of sexual misconduct against him were accurate.

"If we get into the business of sanitizing every comedian and doing a thorough background check before they walk through the door, it’s going to be a very empty stage," Kimmel said with a laugh when asked how he would vet the performers at his future comedy club. "I think people tend to focus on the one or two people who walk out of a situation like that. Ultimately, the audience decides whether someone is welcomed back."

27 PHOTOS
Louis C.K. through the years
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Louis C.K. through the years
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Comedian Louis C.K. poses in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Louis C.K.' Episode 1683 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan as Frank and Louis C.K. as Tom during the 'Forgotten TV Gems' skit on May 16, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 204 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Louis C.K. during an interview with host Seth Meyers on May 11, 2015 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 18: Creator/writer/actor Louis C.K. speaks onstage during the 'Louie' panel discussion at the FX Networks portion of the Television Critics Association press tour at Langham Hotel on January 18, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 21: Louis CK performs during the Funny Or Die Oddball Comedy Festival at the Austin360 Amphitheater on September 21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Louis C.K. poses in the press room at the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 10: Louis C.K. performs during the Funny Or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival at Aaron's Amphitheatre on August 10, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0056 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Louis C.K. during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on May 12, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)..
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Louis C.K.' Episode 1657 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mike O'Brien, Louis C.K. -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay attend the 'Blue Jasmine' New York Premiere at MOMA on July 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Louis C.K. attends the 13th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 11, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Louis C.K.' Episode 1626 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Louis C.K. -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Louis C.K. poses in the press room at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4277 -- Pictured: Comedian Louis Ck during an interview on June 25, 2012 -- (Photo by: Stacie McChesney/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Chris Rock presents award to Louis CK on stage at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4166 -- Pictured: Comedian Louis CK during an interview on December 14, 2011 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Comedian Louis C.K. speaks onstage at the First Annual Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on March 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 30: Presenter Louis C.K. speaks onstage at the Awards Night Ceremony during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Racquet Club on January 30, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images)
Comedian Louis C.K. performs on stage at 'The Nasty Show' during TBS presents A Very Funny Festival: Just For Laughs on June 19, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. 18469_BB_1733.JPG (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)
Comedian Louis C.K. performs at the Comedy Theater during Bonnaroo 2008 on June 14, 2008 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Chris Rock and Louis CK during 'I Think I Love My Wife' Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc for Variety Magazine)
Louis C.K. during HBO & AEG Live's 'The Comedy Festival' - 'For Adults Only' Hosted by Bob Saget at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Louis CK during 'Entourage' Season Three New York Premiere - Arrivals at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
Louis C.K. during The 10th Annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival - Behind the Scenes of Pootie Tang at St. Regis Hotel Ballroom in Aspen, Colorado, United States. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 2241 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Louis C.K. during an interview with host Jay Leno on April 9, 2002 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN -- Episode 21 -- Pictured: (l-r) Comedian Louis C.K. during an interview with host Conan O'Brien on October 11, 1993 (Photo by: Norman Ng/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN -- Episode 14 -- Pictured: (far right) Robert Smigel and Louis C.K. perform in the 'Conan the ----arian' sketch on September 30, 1993 (Photo by: Lesly Weiner/Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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When the interviewer pushed Kimmel on his answer, asking if he'll be looking for a more diverse lineup of comedians to welcome into his club, he insisted that he'll be seeking talent based on just that -- talent -- and no other factors.

"Comedy is very democratic. The people who are great, rise to the top; the people who are good, rise to the middle; and the people who aren’t good, don’t make it," he explained. "We want to get a lot of very funny people, and we want to give new comics an opportunity to work. I don’t focus on their gender or their skin color. I’d never want a woman to think that the reason she’s booked to be on stage at a club is because she’s a woman. The reason she’ll be booked to be on stage is because she’s funny."

Pushed once more on how he would go about making his future club a "safe space," he laughed again.

"Oh, I don’t know that comedy clubs should be a safe space!" he said.

At least one high-profile celebrity called Kimmel out for his comments regarding Louis C.K.: "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi. The television personality, who last week penned a harrowing op-ed in the New York Times revealing that she was raped as a teenager, tweeted her response to a Vulture article that picked up Kimmel's interview.

"Love you @jimmykimmel but the comedy community can also evolve their culture so that a known abuser who sexually humiliated women & silenced them for decades isn't welcomed back w/ open arms by @ComedyCellarUSA," she tweeted. "I know a lot of standups who are NOT ok with sharing a bill with him."

"A 'background check' isn't really necessary for someone who openly admitted to masturbating in front of/on the phone to female colleagues for decades," she added in another tweet. "We could just, as a culture and an NYC comedy community say, 'Actually f**k that.'"

27 PHOTOS
Padma Lakshmi through her career
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Padma Lakshmi through her career
276138 12: Model Padma Lakshmi stands at the premiere of 'Trainspotting' July 15, 1996 in New York City. This British film received a 1997 Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 01: Padma Lakshmi (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Model Padma Lakshmi attends The Hours New York City Premiere on December 15, 2002 at Paris Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Padma Lakshmi and Vikram Chatwal during the cookbook launch for Lakshmi's 'Easy Exotic' book at Chez es Saada, New York, New York, 1999. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
Indian model Padma Lakshmi and Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Indian model Padma Lakshmi. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
398637 09: Model Padma Lakshmi Vaidyanathan arrives at the premiere of the film 'Lord of the Rings' at the Ziegfeld Theater December 13, 2001 in New York. The film opens nationwide on December 19, 2001. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images)
Model Padma Lakshmi backstage at the Luca Luca Spring 2003 fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park in New York City. September 18, 2002. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
Padma Lakshmi (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Padma Lakshmi (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)
Padma Lakshmi (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
Actress and model Padma Lakshmi at the premiere of 'No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.' (Photo by Steve Azzara/Corbis via Getty Images)
Padma Lakshmi during The 2006 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Annual Gala - Red Carpet at Cipriani in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 1, 2007: Padma Lakshmi and Amjad Ali Khan during the launch of 'Lend Your Voice For Aids' Campaign to Combat HIV/AIDS in New Delhi on Saturday.(Photo by Sunil Saxena/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 24: Padma Lakshmi attends the New York premiere 'Australia' at the Ziegfeld theater on November 24, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - DECEMBER 6: Padma Lakshmi attends THE CINEMA SOCIETY & BING host a screening of 'A SINGLE MAN' at MoMA on December 6, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 10037 -- Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: TV personality Padma Lakshmi attends the Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball Redux 2012 at The Apollo Theater on December 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: TV personality Padma Lakshmi attends the PowerWomen 2013 awards on November 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10: Padma Lakshmi attends the Valentino Sala Bianca 945 Event on December 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Chef Padma Lakshmi attend the 11th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on December 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Event host Padma Lakshmi attends the 2016 United Nations Development Programme Global Goals Gala at Phillips on December 5, 2016 in New York (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Padma Lakshmi and The Judges of Bravo's 'Top Chef' In conversation at 92nd Street Y on November 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Padma Lakshmi attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Padma Lakshmi attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Padma Lakshmi attends Variety and Women In Film's 2018 Pre-Emmy celebration held at Cecconi's on September 15, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Padma Lakshmi attends the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys Day 2 at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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Other Twitter users were quick to jump on the comments and criticize Kimmel for his words.

"I don't even know if guys like this know how many people they're kind of kicking in the head when they say this stuff?" NPR host Linda Holmes wrote in a Twitter thread. "Anyway, I am taking a short break from Dude Opinions."

"No one is asking comedians not to do risky material or to be perfect people," someone else responded. "As a workplace safety issue, patrons & other comics should not be subjected to the presence of those credibly accused of patterns of assault & harassment. You're conflating 2 diff things."

Others were more harsh, writing "Jimmy Kimmel still sucks" and questioning "how that goes over with his writing staff."

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