Jimmy Kimmel has come under fire for an old blackface sketch and for using the N-word in a song spoof. Now the late-night host has apologized.
In a statement on Tuesday, Kimmel said, “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.”
Calls to cancel Kimmel began Monday night, with many citing his blackface impersonation of NBA legend Karl Maloneand an imitation of Snoop Dogg's voice on an “N-word”-filled track on a 1996 Christmas album.
Kimmel said he had "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.” Now, he says, he finds the sketches "embarrassing."
Kimmel seems to think the controversy was being used to stop him from criticizing President Trump. “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."