Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Blackface Impression: I Believe That I Have Evolved Over The Last 20 Years

Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes For Blackface Impression: I Believe That I Have Evolved Over The Last 20 Years

Late night host and comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, has released a public apology for impersonating former NBA player, Karl Malone, in black face. The impersonation happened more than twenty years ago and recently resurfaced. He additionally admits to impersonating Oprah and Snoop Dogg among others.

Jimmy Kimmel’s full apology reads:

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. 


Jimmy Kimmel 

Here is a clip of the impersonation.


Jimmy Kimmel is also facing backlash after audio clips have surfaced of him impersonating rapper, Snoop Dogg, in a song entitled “Christmastime In LBC,” where he uses the n-word multiple times.

Kimmel’s apology didn’t pan over too well according to some users on Twitter.  Read their reactions below.

Jimmy Kimmel has used his platform to advocate for racial equality, even making note of Trump, whom he’s referred to him as a “penny-colored President”.

He’s also recently featured Shaquille O’Neal and Regina King on his show discussing racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Jimmy Kimmel captioned his video with Regina King,

“@IamReginaKing on the protests, talking to her son about the police and the need for real change in America…”

What are your thoughts about his apology? Let us know about how you feel in the comments below.

Authored by: Robin Ayers