UPDATE: 3:59 p.m. ET –
According to The Hollywood Reporter, he called his delay in addressing the incidents a “mistake” and he said he apologizes “to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke.”
“I 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,” said Kimmel. “I’ve done dozens of impressions of famous people, including Snoop Dogg, Oprah, Eminem, Dick Vitale, Rosie, and many others. In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more.”
He went on to say “Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.”
He also debunked reports that he went on a summer vacation when his blackface clips resurfaced.
“My summer vacation has been planned for more than a year and includes the next two summers off as well,” he explained. “I will be back to work in September.”
You can check out his full statement below:
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. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke.
On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone. In the late 90s, I continued impersonating Malone on TV. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. I 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. I’ve done dozens of impressions of famous people, including Snoop Dogg, Oprah, Eminem, Dick Vitale, Rosie, and many others. In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more. Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.
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. 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. I love this country too much to allow that. I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.
My summer vacation has been planned for more than a year and includes the next two summers off as well. I will be back to work in September.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry.
Jimmy Kimmel‘s blackface past has once again reached the spotlight ahead of his hosting gig with the Emmys, and now his comedic history is being investigated even more with reports that he used the N-word in a Christmas song.
By Tuesday morning #CancelKimmel was trending on Twitter because of a reoccurring skit he starred in for the Comedy Central show “The Man Show”. In the skit, he dressed in blackface as then-NBA star Karl Malone. “The Man Show” ran from 1999 to 2004 and the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show started airing in 2003.
Kimmel is also up for question after reports that he used the N-word while impersonating Snoop Dogg on a Christmas album. Kimmel revealed that he imitated Snoop Dogg in a January 2013 podcast which was obtained by Fox News. In the podcast, Kimmel also changed the way he talked in an effort to adopt the voice of Black comedian George Wallace. The host of the podcast called it Kimmel’s “crazy black voice.” Kimmel went on to acknowledge that he’s imitated other Black people as well.
The song where Kimmel reportedly imitated Snoop Dogg is from the Christmas album “A Family Christmas In Your Ass,” which derived from the “Kevin & Bean” radio show that aired on KROQ-FM in California. According to Fox News, Kimmel was featured in a version of the track called “Christmas in the LBC”.
The track is filled with depictions of west coast rappers. Ironically, Snoop Dogg is credited as being on the song, however. According to Discogs, Snoop and various artists are credited although the music site doesn’t specify the other names. However, “Jim Kimmel” is credited as a writer for all the “comedy material” on the album accept where noted. Another comedian featured as a writer is former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, although he’s not credited on the “Christmas in the LBC” song.
The track includes lines like, “a “fat ni**a in a sleigh giving sh*t away,” referring to Santa Claus, and “me and my ni**as down in the LBC, we’ll smoke that motherf*cking Christmas tree.” It’s still not clear if Snoop or white comedians where rapping certain lines.
Both “Christmas in the LBC” and Kimmel’s blackface skit have been uploaded to YouTube for years, and Kimmel has yet to issue an apology for his past deeds. He’s had plenty of time and awareness considering many politicians and entertainers have constantly been called out for blackface during Halloween times or even election seasons.
Recently, fellow nighttime T.V. host Jimmy Fallon issued an apology for his blackface past after consistent pushback. He tweeted:
“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”
Meanwhile, Kimmel’s response to the backlash is to go on vacation with his family.
According to The Hill, Kimmel announced that he’s taking the summer off to spend time with his family after backlash for his blackface skit resurfaced.
“I’m taking this summer off to spend even more time with my family,” Kimmel said from his home studio on Thursday night. “There’s nothing wrong. I’m healthy, my family’s healthy, I just need a couple of months off.”
Kimmel has yet to apologize for his blackface, “crazy Black voice” impersonations, or his alleged N-word-filled Christmas album.
He’s set to host the 2020 Emmys on September 20 on ABC, according to CNN.