Jimmy Kimmel was accused by Donald Trump Jr. and FOX News on Monday for taking a sudden break from his late-night TV show so he didn’t have to publicly apologize for wearing blackface to portray former NBA star Karl Malone during his time on The Man Show, and saying the n-word while imitating Snoop Dogg on a comedy Christmas album.
Trump Jr. tweeted on Monday, “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,” attaching FOX News’ article calling the comedian out.
However, on Tuesday, Kimmel finally issued a statement on his blackface sketches that have been circling the Internet for weeks amid the Black Lives Matter protests. Kimmel said that looking back on these skits is “embarrassing”:
“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,” Kimmel wrote. “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.”
Kimmel goes on to apologize for his impersonations of Malone, Snoop Dogg, and Oprah in his apology:
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.
Kimmel Used the N-Word on ‘A Family Christmas In Your Ass’ Album
Fox News shared audio from the Christmas album, “A Family Christmas In Your A–,” released by the “Kevin & Bean” radio show which aired on California’s KROQ-FM. Kimmel imitates rapper Snoop Dogg on the song, “Christmastime in the LBC,” where he sings, “fat n—- in a sleigh giving sh— away,” and “n—– in the manger.”
According to Fox News, who obtained liner notes from the cassette, the album was co-produced by “Jim Kimmel,” and he was credited for much of the “comedy material” on the album. Kimmel was also featured on the comedy Christmas album’s cover.
Kimmel Said His Family Vacation Has Been Planned for Over a Year & Is Unrelated to His Delayed Apology
Kimmel stated in his apology that he wasn’t using his family vacation as an excuse to skirt from publicly apologizing. He wrote:
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.”