DETROIT (Reuters) - Unemployed Detroit auto workers have found more friends in late night television.
Rapper Eminem and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel plan to fly 200 of the jobless workers to Hollywood for “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
“The auto workers, many of whom live and work in the Detroit area and are affected by the auto industry crisis, will come to Los Angeles to enjoy a rare talk and musical performance by Eminem,” ABC said in a statement.
This follows comedian Jay Leno’s successful “comedy stimulus plan” show in April in suburban Detroit that was aimed at bringing some comic relief to the battered city.
Michigan has the highest unemployment rate of any U.S. state at 12.6 percent, primarily due to the massive layoffs by struggling Detroit automakers. The jobless rate in Detroit is 22 percent, almost three times the national average.
Eminem, originally from Detroit, has also recorded a video tribute to the city that acknowledges its contribution to the economy and praises its resilience.
The rapper’s biographical movie “8 Mile” was filmed in Detroit and some of its bleak suburbs.
Eminem is performing on Kimmel’s show to promote his new album “Relapse,” the first in more than four years.
The auto workers, along with a guest, will also be treated to a private concert in Detroit by the Grammy-winning rapper.
Kimmel got into trouble five year ago for joking that Detroit Pistons fans would burn down the city if their basketball team beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Final. Kimmel later apologized after ABC yanked the show for a day.
Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Editing by John O'Callaghan