Jimmy Kimmel announced last week that he was leaving his last night show for the rest of the summer to “enjoy time with his family”.
“Tonight is my last new show for the summer,” he said. “I’m taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family.”
“I’ve been doing this job for almost 18 years, I’ve done 3,130 shows,” Kimmel explained. “And there’s nothing wrong — my family is healthy, I’m healthy — I just need a couple of months off.”
Now it has become clear that Kimmel took time off to avoid criticism of past jokes and offensive comments that he has made in the past.
Kimmel has come under fire in the last few days for wearing blackface in “The Man Show” segments and saying the N-word while impersonating Snoop Dogg in a series of reemerged clips.
The track, which was obtained by Fox News, hears the performer reference “a fat nigga in a sleigh giving shit away”, as well as a “nigga in the manger”.
According to the original cassette, the album was co-produced by Kimmel and credits him for nearly all “comedy material”, including on this track.
The problems only began for Kimmel.
An old interview with Megan Fox went viral yesterday, in which she discusses working on the Michael Bay film ‘Bad Boys II’ at just 15 years old. She was dressed in a bikini and heels but could not sit at a bar due to her age.
“Bay’s solution to that problem was to then have me dancing under a waterfall getting soaking wet,” said Fox to laughs from the crowd. “At 15, I was in 10th grade. That’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.”
Kimmel responded: “Well that’s really a microcosm of how all our minds work, but some of us have the decency to repress those thoughts and pretend that they don’t exist.”
Kimmel has also refused to address the conversely of wearing blackface during his days hosting “The Man Show” in the early 2000s, in which he would darken his skin while impersonating celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Karl Malone.
Kimmel finally was forced to address the reasoning behind his departure from his late-night show. Kimmel also clarified that his recent hiatus from “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” has been planned for more than a year and is not related to the renewed controversy.
Read the full statement below.
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.
On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone. In the late 90s, I continued impersonating Malone on TV. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. 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. 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. 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.
I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show. 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. I love this country too much to allow that. I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.
My summer vacation has been planned for more than a year and includes the next two summers off as well. I will be back to work in September.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry.