News and Commentary

FLASHBACK: That Time Jimmy Kimmel Didn’t Think Blackface Was Bad

Now that NBC has handed Megyn Kelly her walking papers for her remarks about Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps, who was called racist for darkening her skin to dress as Diana Ross, it should be noted that America’s major news networks seem to be rather inconsistent about the darkening of skin for comedic purposes. Back in 2000, Jimmy Kimmel notoriously appeared in blackface to pretend he was NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone on Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.”

Kelly, speaking of Lesseps, stated, “And people said that that was racist. And I don’t know! I thought like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”

That got her fired.

Kimmel, on the other hand, had this to say as he mimicked Malone: (note the broken English)

Sometime at night, Karl Malone look up at sky and say, “What the hell goin’ on up there? Do UFO live on other planet, phonin’ home like E.T.?’ Karl Malone read on TV about white people gettin’ deducted (sic) by alien, speakin’ all kind of hell up they butt. And that’s a damn thing. Now, Karl Malone never seen no flyin’ saucer itself, but if he do, that goin’ to be a spooky time. That’s why Karl Malone say, ‘Government got to step up and give 102% to keepin’ them little green men of this here earth, ‘cause the day them dudes sticks somethin’ up Karl Malone butt, well, that ain’t gonna be no good time for nobody, especially Karl Malone butt. Listen up, E.T.’ you better stay the hell back. Nanoo, nanoo. Until next time, this here Karl Malone.

As The Daily Wire noted after Kelly was fired:

NBC News played up her comments, featuring them on Lester Holt’s nightly news show; the head of NBC News, Andy Lack, blasted Kelly on Wednesday, stating, “There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them.”

But Kimmel? He not only wore blackface, he mocked Malone as being unable to speak articulate English. Where is ABC on this crucial issue?

This couldn’t have anything to do with ratings, could it? As The Wrap reported of Kelly’s ratings:

From September 2017 to September 2018, Kelly’s 9 a.m. ET show fell 13 percent overall from its predecessor (2.8 million vs. 2.4 million), which was just a third hour of the “Today” show, hosted by Tamron Hall and Al Roker. The decline versus Septembers 2016-2017 was twice as bad on a percentage basis among adults 25-54, the key demographic for news programming.

“Megyn Kelly Today” also shed 26 percent of its viewers ages 18-49, and it was actually off two points more than that among young women …

Here are her total-viewer drops per quarter when compared with the final year of the previous format:
Q4 2017: -19.49%
Q1 2018: -17.16%
Q2 2018: -9.88%
Q3 2018: -4.79%

Video of Kimmel in blackface below:

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