Jimmy Kimmel Faces Lawsuit Over George Santos Cameo Videos

The former member of Congress seeks $750,000 in damages

Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel in 2023.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

During his short stint in the House of Representatives, George Santos was the gift that kept on giving to many a comedian. Both Saturday Night Live and Real Time With Bill Maher dedicated countless punchlines to Santos, and for understandable reasons — including his penchant for lying and the legal charges against him.

Now, Santos is on the other side of a legal case — though it’s unclear just how far it will go.

After being expelled from Congress, Santos signed up for Cameo — and reportedly made more than he had in a year in Congress in the span of 48 hours on the service. This, in turn, led to Jimmy Kimmel and the staff of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to pay Santos to record a series of absurd videos that ended up airing as regular segments on the show, dubbed “Will Santos Say It?”

As the Associated Press reports, Santos has sued Kimmel, along with ABC and Disney, contending that the videos were “capitalizing on and ridiculing” his persona. Santos filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York ,and seeks $750,000 in damages.

“[W]hat [Kimmel] did was clear violation of copyright law,” Santos’s attorney Robert Fantone told the AP. Fantone did concede that the requests “were funny,” however.

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Cameo’s own website offers some clues as to how this case could play out. One page on the service’s help section declares that “Cameo videos are licensed, not sold, and in rare cases Cameo or the celebrity who made the video may revoke your license.” How that will play out in the courtroom remains to be seen — though the fact that it’s Santos who’s initiating this lawsuit is especially head-spinning.

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