Comedian and host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Jimmy Kimmel has issued an apology for the embarrassing sketches in which he portrayed Black celebrities in the 1990s.
"I have been long 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."
Jimmy Kimmel speaks during "One World: Together At Home" presented by Global Citizen on April, 18, 2020. | Photo: Getty Images
Kimmel further said that his delay in apologizing was a mistake. He added that nothing was more important to him than having the respect of people and also taking time out to apologize to those that were truly hurt and offended by the makeup he wore or words he spoke.
The television host's apology came after he fell under heavy criticism following the discovery of videos of him performing in blackface. Kimmel shed more light on those clips.
The comedian explained that he did a recurring expression of NBA player Karl Malone in the 90s while on KROQ radio and continued the trend on television, hiring makeup artists to get him to look like the basketballer as much as possible.
Kimmel said he would not be bullied into silence by people feigning outrage to advance their oppressive and racist agendas.
Kimmel further said that he never considered that one day his actions would be regarded as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being.
He also said that he had done multiple expressions of celebrities and always thought of them as impersonations of famous people and nothing more.
Going further in his apology, Kimmel said that he believes that he has evolved and matured over the last two decades, which he hoped was evident to those who watched his show.
The television personality added that he knew this would not be the last he would hear of the issue and that it would be used to quiet him again, but he loves America so much to allow that.
Kimmel said he would not be bullied into silence by people feigning outrage to advance their oppressive and racist agendas. In conclusion to his statement, he thanked all for allowing him to explain himself and apologized once again to those he had disappointed.
Kimmel is set to proceed on a summer-long vacation to spend time with his family. He is expected to return to his show in September. ABC is yet to respond to Kimmel's statement.
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