The Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel has come under controversy, suspiciously right after he announced plans to take a break from Jimmy Kimmel Live for the summer.
On Thursday night, Kimmel said, “I'm taking this summer off to spend even more time with my family...There's nothing wrong. I'm healthy, my family's healthy, I just need a couple of months off."
But is that really the reason?
Recordings have resurfaced that show Kimmel using the N-word multiple times, as well as blackface performances where he imitated Black artists, George Wallace and Snoop Dogg. Kimmel imitated Snoop in a 1996 comedy Christmas album called A Family Christmas In Your *ss. Kimmel wrote the comedic material for the album, which includes lyrics in which he called Santa a "fat [N-word] in a sleigh giving sh*t away."
Sketches from Comedy Central’s The Man Show have also resurfaced, in which Kimmel performed in blackface multiple times. He impersonated both NBA star Karl Malone and ‘Oprah Jimfrey,’ which was a parody of Oprah on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Many social media users are using #CancelKimmel in response to learning about these recordings and sketches.
Today, Kimmel issued an apology for his series of impressions of Black artists and celebrities.
Kimmel said, “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.”
He also said that he has “evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years” and that he will continue to speak out on important causes on Jimmy Kimmel Live.