Kimmel released a statement this morning finally addressing his past use of blackface, saying he had been "reluctant" to discuss the topic but that it "was a mistake" to wait so long to apologize. "There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke," Kimmel said in his lengthy statement. Kimmel is the latest TV star to face a racial reckoning in the wake of the police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. In recent days, Kimmel has been embroiled in controversies over his past use of blackface, for making a sexual joke about an underage Megan Fox and for using the N-word in an imitation Snoop Dogg song. As a result, the hashtag #cancelkimmel was trending on Twitter Monday night and Tuesday morning. In his full statement, Kimmel said: "I have long been reluctant to address this, 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. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke. On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone. In the late 90s, I continued impersonating Malone on TV. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. I never considered that this might 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. I’ve done dozens of impressions of famous people, including Snoop Dogg, Oprah, Eminem, Dick Vitale, Rosie, and many others. In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more. 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. I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show. I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that. I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas." He closed his statement by saying: "Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry." ALSO: Kimmel said his summer hiatus was planned "for more than a year," before his recent controversies, and he'll take the next two summers off as well.