Jimmy Kimmel apologizes for ’embarrassing’ past blackface skits

Jimmy Kimmel has broken his silence to apologize for his history of ’embarrassing’ blackface sketches – as he slammed those who he claims are using these ‘thoughtless moments’ as a weapon to diminish his criticisms of injustices. 

The TV host also said on Tuesday that his current absence from Jimmy Kimmel Live! had been planned for months and was not related to the current race controversy he is embroiled in. 

‘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 said. 

He went on to say that he believes he has ‘evolved and matured’ over the last two decades, which he said he hopes is evident to whoever watches his show. 

Kimmel, who has been under increased pressure to address his blackface sketches, said the delay in addressing the controversy was a mistake. 

Jimmy Kimmel has broken his silence to apologize for his history of ’embarrassing’ blackface sketches – as he slammed those who he claims are using these ‘thoughtless moments’ as a weapon to diminish his criticisms of injustices 

‘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,’ he said. 

His statement came as he faced a new race storm after audio emerged of him in recent days admitting to imitating Snoop Dogg for a 1996 Christmas album in which he says the n-word multiple times.

Kimmel has also come under fire for wearing blackface in TV sketches dating back to the 90s in which he impersonated the likes of NBA player Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey. 

‘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 said on Tuesday. 

‘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.  

Jimmy Kimmel is facing a new race storm after audio emerged of him admitting to imitating Snoop Dogg for a 1996 Christmas album in which he says the n-word multiple times

Jimmy Kimmel is facing a new race storm after audio emerged of him admitting to imitating Snoop Dogg for a 1996 Christmas album in which he says the n-word multiple times

JIMMY KIMMEL’S APOLOGY IN FULL 

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.

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.

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.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry.

‘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 went on to say that he knows it will not be the last he hears of this criticism, saying ‘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.’

His statement follows the emergence of a 2013 podcast interview with radio personality Adam Carolla, which was only obtained by Fox News at the weekend, in which Kimmel admitted to imitating the rapper’s voice in Snoop’s original ‘Christmastime in the LBC’ track. 

Carolla said in the interview that ‘Jimmy is doing Snoop’ before going on to play the track.

‘This is when Snoop Dogg first came out, hit the scene, and I used to imitate him by only saying, ‘You know what I’m saying?” Kimmel said of the impersonation. 

In the song, Kimmel can be hearding rapping: ‘Me and my n***er down in LBC, we’ll smoke that motherf***er Christmas tree.’

The track includes the racial slur several times, including ‘fat n***er in a sleigh giving sh*t away’ and also ‘n***er in the manger.’ 

Liner notes from the cassette, which was also obtained by Fox, showed the track was co-produced by ‘Jim Kimmel’ and Kimmel also appeared on the album cover. 

In the same interview, Kimmel impersonated black comedian George Wallace’s voice. 

Carolla called it Kimmel’s ‘crazy black voice’.  

When someone on the podcast interview asked if Kimmel only impersonated ‘black people’, the talk show host responded: ‘I prefer them, yes.’   

Kimmel is facing backlash on Twitter following the emergence of the interview with many calling for him to be fired. 

He was facing increasing pressure to follow his fellow comedian Jimmy Fallon and apologize for wearing blackface in TV skits.  

It comes as Kimmel faces increasing pressure to apologize for wearing blackface in TV skits. One recurring segment had him parodying NBA player Karl Malone (above) while donning blackface

It comes as Kimmel faces increasing pressure to apologize for wearing blackface in TV skits. One recurring segment had him parodying NBA player Karl Malone (above) while donning blackface

He also appeared in blackface for a parody of Oprah Winfrey in The Man Show in 2001

He also appeared in blackface for a parody of Oprah Winfrey in The Man Show in 2001

He announced last week that he is taking a break from his late-night show over the summer to spend more time with his family. 

‘I’m taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family,’ he announced.

‘I’ve been doing this job for almost 18 years. I’ve done 3,130 shows and there’s nothing wrong.

‘My family is healthy, I’m healthy. I just need a couple of months off.’ 

Images of Kimmel – and Fallon – wearing blackface in various skits have been circulating on Twitter of late. 

Kimmel painted himself black to portray characters in The Man Show, which aired from 1999 to 2004.

One recurring segment had him parodying NBA player Karl Malone while donning blackface. He also appeared in blackface for a parody of Oprah Winfrey. 

Meanwhile, Fallon painted himself to look like Chris Rock in a 2000 skit on Saturday Night Live. 

Fallon publicly apologized on June 1 and used his show to discuss issues of race and racism with Derrick Johnson, the president and chief executive of the NAACP, CNN anchor Don Lemon and the anti-racism educator Jane Elliott.

‘I had to really examine myself in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on SNL doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface,’ he said. 

‘And I was horrified. Not of people trying to ‘cancel’ me or cancel this show, which is scary enough. 

‘The thing that haunted me the most was, how do I say I love this person? I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I’m not a racist. I don’t feel this way.’ 

‘I realized that I can’t not say I’m horrified and I’m sorry and I’m embarrassed.

‘I realized that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me and the rest of us are doing, staying silent. We need to say something. We need to keep saying something.

‘And we need to stop saying “that’s not OK” more than just one day on Twitter.’

Twitter slams ‘disgusting’ 2009 Jimmy Kimmel interview with Megan Fox that sees him ‘sexualizing her’ as a 15-year-old after it resurfaced online 

Fans are rushing to Megan Fox’s defense after a 2009 interview with Jimmy Kimmel resurfaced on Twitter — and now many are seeing the actress and her treatment in the public eye in a new light.

In the 2009 interview, Megan, now 34, shared a disturbing story about being sexualized in a Michael Bay film when she was just 15 — but rather than sympathizing or seeming troubled by the story, Jimmy, now 52, cracks an inappropriate joke about her teenage sexuality.

Commenters have called the clip ‘disgusting’ and ‘terrible,’ with one making a convincing case for how unfairly Megan was treated in Hollywood in her 20s. 

Twitter user Liz W shared the clip, which has been viewed over six million times. 

Re-examined: In a 2009 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Megan shared how she was cast to dance in a bikini under a waterfall at age 15 — and she is clearly put off by the memory

Re-examined: In a 2009 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Megan shared how she was cast to dance in a bikini under a waterfall at age 15 — and she is clearly put off by the memory

‘Megan Fox tells a story about Michael Bay sexualizing her as a 15 y/o. The crowd laughs, and Kimmel makes gross jokes. Teen girls being preyed on by older men has never been taken seriously and still isn’t,’ she wrote.

In the clip, Megan recalled being on the set of Bad Boys II, for which her credit read ‘Stars-and-Stripes Bikini Kid Dancing Under Waterfall.’

‘I had just turned 15 and I was an extra in Bad Boys II. They were shooting this club scene and they brought me in, and I was wearing a Stars-and-Stripes Bikini and a red cowboy hat. And six-inch heels,’ she said.

‘And he approved it, and they said, you know, “Michael, she’s 15, so you can’t sit her at the bar and she can’t have a drink in her hand.

‘So his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet,’ she concluded with a straight face.

When the crowd laughed, she reiterated: ‘At 15. I was in tenth grade. So that’s a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.’

Kimmel then responded: ‘Well that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work.’

Yikes: When she tells the story, though, Kimmel replies with a sexual joke and the audience laughs

Yikes: When she tells the story, though, Kimmel replies with a sexual joke and the audience laughs

Not OK: Viewers are now looking at the interview with horror, pointing out that Megan was trying to share a troubling story and it wasn't taken seriously

Not OK: Viewers are now looking at the interview with horror, pointing out that Megan was trying to share a troubling story and it wasn’t taken seriously

Megan looked uncomfortable, running her hands down her legs and cringing at the audience while Jimmy added that ‘some of us have the decency to suppress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.’

The interview doesn’t appear to have spurred much outrage online at the time, but now Twitter users are expressing their horror at the way Megan’s experience was made light of. 

‘His response is even worse what the hell,’ wrote one. And another: ‘WTF were they doing casting a 15 year-old as a bikini-wearing clubber?’

‘I think Fox’s reaction shows a lot,’ said a third. ‘She’s so clearly visibly upset by Kimmel’s reaction but can’t say anything to his awful joke. This is terrible to watch, it’s a kind of abuse in real time. Even a high star celebrity is not immune.’ 

‘That single nod she did after his “joke” was the exact moment she realized all men are the same and it probably scared the shit out of her to get that response from a tv host with so much power,’ another agreed.  

One more chimed in: ‘What an utterly disgusting take by Kimmel. Why is, “I’m so sorry that happened to you”, something that is beyond his imagination to say. Instead he offers, “We all have those thoughts, but we repress them”. God damn, she was 15. Who the Hell is “We”?

And yet another wrote: ‘The way Hollywood and the media treated Megan Fox in general was deeply disgusting.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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