Jimmy Kimmel has had a really interesting week, and it’s only Tuesday.
The late-night talk show host announced Thursday that he will take a leave of absence from his ABC show starting in July in order to spend time with his family. While he’s on hiatus, different guests will rotate and host the show on his behalf. According to Variety, he will return to the show in September, right before he hosts this year’s Emmy Awards.
Now, this is where the fun comes in.
Amidst Kimmel’s announcement, an old skit from Comedy Central’s The Man Show resurfaced. In it, he portrays NBA player Karl Malone wearing blackface from head to toe and putting on a really shitty blaccent.
Then, on Monday night, Kimmel came under fire again for using the n-word six times during a Snoop Dogg impression on the 1996 comedy Christmas album, A Family Christmas in Your Ass. The song “Christmastime in LBC” was unearthed by Fox News, of all places.
Kimmel-as-Snoop sings about Santa Claus being “a fat nigga in a sleigh giving shit away,” and also utters lines like “I told that motherfucker Santa, bring a pick for my afro.”
“Me and my niggas down in LBC, we’ll smoke that motherfuckin’ Christmas tree,” Kimmel rhymes on the song. The liner notes for the album credit “Jim Kimmel” as the co-producer, who also provided “all comedy material.” He is also seen on the cover.
Fox News also obtained audio of Kimmel on comedian and The Man Show co-creator Adam Carolla’s podcast in 2013, where he discussed his Snoop Dogg impression from years prior and whipped out his George Wallace impression, which Carolla called his “crazy black voice.” When asked if he only impersonates black people, Kimmel says with a laugh, “I prefer them, yes.”
Kimmel has not apologized for either controversy as of press time, but many internet folk are calling for his Emmys hosting gig later this year to be stripped away, or for him to step down from his duties as host.
It seems like comedians are really having a reckoning in terms of racist controversies. A past blackface incident resurfaced for The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon a few weeks ago, after which he apologized for an old Saturday Night Live sketch where he wore blackface to portray Chris Rock.
Even more recently, Tina Fey apologized to fans for the pain caused by four 30 Rock episodes where characters were featured in blackface. The episodes in question have been pulled from streaming and the NBC website, but like...why are we still having conversations about why blackface is wrong on Blue Ivy’s internet? Why does it take times of racial and social unrest for people to make changes or to recognize the pain that blackface causes?