Jimmy Kimmel apologizes for acting on blackface

In his statement, obtained by CNN, Kimmel wrote: “I have long been reluctant to address this as I knew that doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apology with weakness and encourage leaders who use prejudice. to divide us. “

“That delay was a mistake,” wrote Kimmel. “There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were really hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I said.”

The Emmy host had recently come under fire after social media discovered videos of him performing on blackface.

Kimmel explained in his statement that “on KROQ radio in the mid-1990s, I had a recurring impression of NBA player Karl Malone.”

“In the late 1990s, I continued to impersonate Malone on television. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible,” Kimmel explained. “I never considered that this could be seen as more than an imitation of a human being, one that had nothing more to do with Karl’s skin color than his bulging muscles and bald head.”

“I have made dozens of impressions of famous people, including Snoop Dogg, Oprah, Eminem, Dick Vitale, Rosie and many others. In each case, I considered them as personifications of celebrities and nothing else,” Kimmel continued. say. “Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it’s frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to lessen my criticism of social and other injustices.”

Kimmel wrote that it has since “evolved and matured” in the more than 20 years since then, adding: “I know this will not be the last time I hear about this and that it will be used again to try to calm me down.” “

“I love this country too much to allow that,” he wrote. “I will not be intimidated by those who simulate outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.”

He also mentioned his recently announced summer vacation, which he said had been planned for over a year, and noted that he will return to his evening show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in September.

Kimmel finished her statement with gratitude.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain, and I am sorry to those who have disappointed me,” he wrote.