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Jimmy Kimmel Flees Los Angeles After Backlash for Use of Blackface in Sketches


Last Updated: June 24, 2020, 13:46 IST

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel

Popular comedian and host Jimmy Kimmel is under fire for wearing blackface in sketches and reportedly using racial slur in newly unearthed audio recordings from the past.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who apologised Tuesday for his 1990s blackface impressions of NBA player Karl Malone and other Black celebrities, has https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8453167/Disgraced-comedian-Jimmy-Kimmel-FLEES-Los-Angeles-secret-location-avoid-race-row.html fled Los Angeles for a secret location along with his family in order to avoid the race row.

Kimmel's apology came after his pictures wearing blackface for sketches and repeatedly using racial slur while imitating rapper Snoop Dogg in newly unearthed audio from 1996 went viral on social media amid the Black Lives Matter protests.

Now, reports suggest that he has left his LA mansion. Friends of Kimmel have said he has left town in a bid to avoid the row and is hoping his apology will see him left alone, reports dailymail.co.uk.

Meanwhile, a representative for Kimmel insisted that the break is a vacation planned well in advance and added that he also intends to take the next two summers off to spend time with his family.

Kimmel’s impersonation of Malone, which he started on radio and then brought to television on Comedy Central, was criticized by Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, among others. The two men feuded on air and online two years ago when Hannity objected to a Kimmel joke about Melania Trump’s accent.

Fox News’ website on Monday had a story about Kimmel using a common slur against Black people on a 1996 comedy song, and about times Kimmel had imitated the voices of Black personalities.

In the apology, Kimmel said that he had never considered his Malone skits would 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.”

He also said he didn’t consider his impersonations of Black people in racial terms.

“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,” Kimmel said.

He said he had long been reluctant to address the subject, “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 said.

Kimmel is an important figure at ABC; he was just named host of this fall’s Emmy Awards and he has taken over Regis Philbin’s role for the network’s summertime remake of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

ABC had no comment about his statement.

(With inputs from AP News)

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first published:June 24, 2020, 13:46 IST
last updated:June 24, 2020, 13:46 IST