Jimmy Kimmel, the popular late-night talk-show host on the ABC network, apologised for appearing in blackface during skits he performed in the 1990s.
The comedian, who hosts “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” said in a statement that in the 1990s he did a recurring impression of NBA star Karl Malone, initially on KROQ radio and later on television. Makeup artists made him look as much like Malone as possible, he said, adding that he was sorry he hadn’t addressed the issue earlier.
“There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologise to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel has faced criticism and calls for an apology in the wake of the skits coming to new prominence. Kimmel said his summer break, scheduled to last until September, had nothing to do with the controversy.
Kimmel’s late-night rival on NBC, Jimmy Fallon, apologised in May for appearing in blackface in a skit he did for “Saturday Night Live” 20 years ago.