Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Blackface Skits, Says He's 'Evolved And Matured'

Oliver VanDervoort

Jimmy Kimmel apologized on Tuesday for starring in several different skits over the years where he appeared in blackface. According to Brian Steinberg of Variety, the late-night television host issued an official statement in which he expressed remorse while saying he has "evolved and matured" since doing those skits.

"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," Kimmel said in the statement.

"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 portrayed a number of black celebrities and athletes over the years, mostly as part of his work on The Man Show, which aired from 1999 to 2004.

Sarah Hearon of Us Weekly reported that Kimmel talked about one of the skits in question when he appeared as former Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers player Karl Malone.

Kimmel said that over the course of his career, he's done "dozens" of impersonations. He pointed to rapper Snoop Dogg, sports broadcaster Dick Vitale, and comedian Rosie O'Donnell as three examples. The comedian said that in each instance, he looked at the characters as impersonations and nothing more.

He added that he knows there are going to be people that attempt to silence him because he's been an advocate for certain issues. He's also been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. Kimmel said he wouldn't allow those who wanted him to stop talking about the issues to win.

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