Kimmel said he “never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being, one that had no more to do with Karl’s skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head.” Jimmy Kimmel has responded to complaints over his appearances in blackface, dating back decades, including impersonations of NBA star Karl Malone.
“I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us. That delay was a mistake,” Kimmel wrote in a statement released Tuesday by his spokesman, Lewis Kay.
Kimmel said he “never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being, one that had no more to do with Karl’s skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head.”
You should know before clicking that this is nasty stuff. A lot has been bleeped.
The 52-year-old television host called these impersonations “embarrassing.”
“I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show,” he continued. “I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me.”
The apology came one day after Donald Trump Jr. criticized the late-night talk show host, who’s made Trump’s father, the president, a frequent target, for using a racial epithet in a separate incident in 1996. The president’s eldest son was referring to a 2013 podcast, in which Kimmel admitted to rapping the racial slur over two decades ago while imitating Snoop Dogg on KROQ.
“To be clear, I’m 100% against punishing comedians for jokes, even bad jokes from unfunny hack comedians like Jimmy Kimmel but according to the left’s own woke rules that @jimmykimmel wants to force others to live by, it’s hard to see how @ABCNetwork allows him to keep his show,” he tweeted on Monday.
Trump Jr. also recently criticized radio host Howard Stern for his blackface skit in 1993.
Kimmel recently announced that he was taking a summer break on Friday to “spend more time” with his family, part of his new contract that will also see him take the next two summers off. Some critics tried to link his temporary exit to the controversy.
Kimmel will return to work in September.
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