Disney CEO says Kimmel, Behar blackface incidents handled as 'private matter'

Disney CEO says Kimmel, Behar blackface incidents handled as 'private matter'
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Disney CEO Bob Iger says he dealt privately with ABC hosts Joy Behar and Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelCaitlyn Jenner slams Jimmy Kimmel for calling her 'Trump in a wig' Stephen Colbert is bringing back his live audience Fox News late-night show 'Gutfeld!' nears top of ratings race MORE for dressing in blackface in the past, adding that the company does not condone such behavior.

“This particular incident we choose to deal with as a private matter,” Iger said to National Center for Public Policy Research’s Justin Danhof when asked about the controversy at a shareholders meeting in St. Louis on Thursday.

“We don’t condone the use of blackface under any circumstance in our world today,” he added. “We dealt with the incidences privately. We did not feel it required any particular comment."


Kimmel once dressed in blackface while doing an imitation of former NBA star Karl Malone while on "The Man Show" on Comedy Central in 2004. Comedy Central is not owned by Disney, but by Viacom. Kimmel joined ABC later that year to host his own show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Last month, a photograph from the 1970s resurfaced of Behar in blackface. Behar joined ABC to co-host "The View" in the late 1990s. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC.

Iger added that Kimmel and Behar were dealt with "swiftly." He did not elaborate on what punishment, if any, was leveled on the two hosts.

In February, a photo surfaced of a man in blackface in a medical school yearbook page for Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, sparking a national debate.

The photo was taken in 1984. Northam initially apologized for the photo, but later denied that he was in the picture, which showed two men, one in blackface and the other dressed as a Klansman. Northam did say that he had dressed in blackface for a Michael Jackson contest that year. 

Republicans and many prominent Democrats called on the governor to resign, but Northam has refused to step down.