Jimmy Kimmel Taking The Summer Off Amid Blackface Controversy And Calls To Cancel Him

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will be taking the summer off as he continues to endure criticism for his use of blackface in comedic skits.

And, this was not just one known occurrence of blackface, like Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, but blackface was regularly used between 1999-2004 to portray now-retired NBA star Karl Malone.

As the Washington Examiner reports, Kimmel shared a video announcement on Thursday that he would be spending more time with his family.

“I’m taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this job for almost 18 years. I’ve done 3,130 shows and there’s nothing wrong,” he said in the video. “My family’s healthy. I’m healthy. I just need a couple of months off.”

The Washington Examiner reports Kimmel is not the only talk show host apologizing for previously wearing blackface:

Another late-night fixture, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, also apologized for his own episodes of participating in a blackface skit he did on Saturday Night Live in 2000.

Calls to acknowledge actions seen as racially insensitive have grown following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite his pleas for air. Protests around the world have organized against racial injustice and police brutality.

The Daily Mail adds:

Both Kimmel and his rival at NBC, Jimmy Fallon, have found images from their past of them in blackface circulating on Twitter.

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Fallon painted himself to look like Chris Rock in a 2000 skit on Saturday Night Live.

On June 1 he apologized, and used his show to discuss issues of race and racism with Derrick Johnson, the president and chief executive of the NAACP, the CNN anchor Don Lemon and the anti-racism educator Jane Elliott.

‘I had to really examine myself in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on SNL doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface,’ he said.

‘And I was horrified. Not of people trying to ‘cancel’ me or cancel this show, which is scary enough.

‘The thing that haunted me the most was, how do I say I love this person?

‘I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I’m not a racist. I don’t feel this way.’