Photo credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com
When old videos of Jimmy Kimmel wearing Blackface and singing the N word resurfaced, the world was expecting a very long and sincere apology from him. However, we’re not sure that’s what the late night talk show host gave us…
Fox News reportedly dug up a 1996 song called Christmastime in LBC, which features Jimmy Kimmel dressed up as Snoop Dogg and using the N-word – among other racist lyrics – several times.
Another video of him wearing Blackface on The Man Show has also been unearthed…
“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,” he told Entertainment Tonight.
“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.”
He then continued to defend – and seemingly justify – his impression of NBA player Karl Malone, which he performed several times on KROQ radio back in the 90s…
“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,” he began.
“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.”
He insisted that although he is embarrassed by his previous actions, he refuses to be “bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas”.
He claims he has “evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years”…
“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,” he concluded.
“Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry.”
And Jimmy Kimmel is not the first comedian to address his previous racist actions. Jimmy Fallon apologized for wearing Blackface in an SNL sketch, while Tina Fey insisted that 30 Rock remove all episodes which featured Blackface.