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Jimmy Kimmel Says Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Offered to Pay His Staff During Strike

Jimmy Kimmel says his longtime friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon made a very generous offer at the start of the writers strike.

On his newly launched Strike Force Five podcast — which has Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and John Oliver uniting for a limited run pod — Kimmel revealed that the duo offered to pay his staff’s salaries for two weeks after his ABC late night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, shut down in May.

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Making a nod to his long-running mock-feud with Damon, Kimmel said, “Ben Affleck and the despicable Matt Damon contacted me and offered to pay our staff for two weeks, a week each, they wanted to pay [them] out of their own pocket.”

Kimmel said he decided to reject the offer because, as he points out, “I felt that that was not their responsibility.”

To which Colbert asked, “Couldn’t you say yes and then give your money to us?”

Kimmel also noted Ryan Reynolds offered to give the Live staff free Mint Mobile services for a year (Reynolds is an owner of Mint Mobile, which ended up being a sponsor of the podcast).

Kimmel and Damon’s “feud” has been ongoing since 2005 and has resulted in a slew of skits and visits to his show.

Kimmel also revealed in the episode he was considering retiring when he strike began.

“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started,” he said. “And now, I realize, ‘Oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work.’ You know when you are working, you think about not working.”

Strike Force Five launched Wednesday on Spotify and will consist of 12 episodes. All five hosts will participate and rotate who leads the conversation. Proceeds will be split among their out-of-work staff. The concept was born out of weekly Zooms that the late night hosts have been holding since the WGA strike began in early May.

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