In the 1990s, Jimmy Kimmel did several comedy sketches wearing blackface to pose as black celebrities. And in 2020, he is one of the many celebrities that have been called out for wearing blackface, saying racial slurs, or even sexual assault during the Black Lives Matter Movement. Kimmel has finally addressed the issue in a lengthy apology posted by his spokesmen. But, it has people torn about whether or not he should be cancelled for good and taken off the air.
Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Wearing Blackface
In the apology posted by his spokesman, Lewis Kay, the host 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.” He particularly mentioned that he wore blackface to impersonate NBA star Karl Malone on KROQ Radio but “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.” For him, looking back at moments where he impersonated people and wore blackface was “embarrassing.”
This comes after a tape surfaced where Kimmel admitted to saying the N-word in 2013 while imitating Snoop Dogg. He continued on to say that he knows that just because he apologized does not mean the subject of wearing blackface will disappear forever and said “these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.”
People Had Differing Opinions About Whether His Statement Was Genuine Or Not
For some, Kimmel did not say enough to excuse his actions. They called for him to be removed from ABC and Disney.
The hashtag #CancelKimmel even began trending on Twitter after his apology surfaced.
Author Nick Adams called Kimmel a “fraud.”
But, there were also some people that said Kimmel should be forgiven because the past is in the past. One Twitter user wrote, “Folks shouldn’t be canceled for past mistakes.” Director Robby Starbuck also said that all of the celebrities he’s worked with have also made mistakes behind the scenes but they are not getting publicized. This goes along with other Twitter users saying you can’t just cancel Kimmel without canceling the rest of Hollywood for all of their wrongdoings.
Another Twitter user said “Jimmy Kimmel is a dude who actually strikes me as having grown up. He is not the same dude he was when he was young. When presented with new information, he seems to have genuinely changed his mind and chosen to be better. And that’s a good thing.”
Kimmel said that he will be back to work in September after taking two months off. According to him, his summer vacation was already planned before this blackface controversy started.