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Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes After Blackface Sketches Resurface: 'I Have Evolved And Matured'

Rae Batchelor 24 Jun 2020

Recently, late night host Jimmy Fallon made a public apology for his use of blackface early in his comedy career, and it didn't take long for people to realize another late night talk show host had similar use of blackface in his early work as well.

Jimmy Kimmel has now spoken out on the recent controversy.

Jimmy Kimmel released a statement on his use of blackface in the past.

Instagram | @jimmykimmel

"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 in a statement addressing this issue.

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"That delay was a mistake," he added.

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"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."

The sketches in question had Jimmy in blackface and a bald cap to impersonate NBA player Karl Malone.

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"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."

Instagram | @jimmykimmel

"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," he continued.

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"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."

Instagram | @jimmykimmel

Kimmel stated that he had "evolved and matured" since these sketches, and added, ""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."

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"I love this country too much to allow that," he wrote.

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"I won't be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas."

"Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I've disappointed, I am sorry," his statement ended.

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Kimmel had previously announced he would be taking the rest of the summer off from hosting his show.

Instagram | @jimmykimmel

What do you think about Kimmel's apology? Was it sincere? Do you think he should have apologized at all? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

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