Jimmy Kimmel has come forward with an apology after racially insensitive old material of his resurfaced recently.
As Entertainment Tonight mentions, Kimmel performed in blackface in some of his old skits, and used the N-word several times in a song on the 1996 comedy Christmas album A Family Christmas in Your A**s.
Kimmel explains his initial reluctance to address past blackface skits
Kimmel released a statement to Entertainment Tonight apologizing for his past actions. "I have long been reluctant to address this," the late night talk show host said, "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."
Kimmel talks about his '90s Karl Malone impression done in blackface
Kimmel then went on to talk about his thought process behind doing blackface at the time."On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone," he explained. "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."
Kimmel expresses regret over racially insensitive actions in the past
Kimmel then said that he's ashamed of his past actions. "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 said.
"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."
Kimmel's song with the N-word has him rapping like Snoop Dogg
Kimmel also mentioned how he has the summer off from filming his show, which he recently announced with Matt Damon's help. "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," he said. "Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry. Sincerely, Jimmy Kimmel."
As Entertainment Tonight mentions, Kimmel's Christmas song that uses the N-word, “Christmastime in LBC," sees him imitating Snoop Dogg's rapping style. The song was recorded in 1996 for California radio station KROQ-FM's "Kevin and Bean" radio show and recently dug up by FOX News.
In it, Kimmel raps lyrics like "Fat ni**a in a sleigh giving sh** away," and "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow / I told that motherf**ker Santa bring a pick for my afro."