Originally created 06/12/04

Talk show host apologizes for remarks about Detroit



DETROIT -- Jimmy Kimmel's late-night talk show was pulled off the air for a night following a joke the comedian made about Detroit during the NBA Finals.

Kimmel was talking to ABC sportscaster Mike Tirico during halftime of Tuesday's game when he said, "They're going to burn the city of Detroit down if the Pistons win, and it's not worth it." Tirico, an Ann Arbor resident, immediately objected, telling him to be careful about making fun of Detroit.

ABC made the decision to pull Wednesday night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" from affiliates nationwide shortly after the program was taped that night in California.

Grace Gilchrist, general manager of Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ, said the taped show featured more disparaging remarks about the city.

"Frankly, we were shocked. We thought it was uncalled for," Andrea Parquet-Taylor, WXYZ's news director, said of Kimmel's remarks.

Kimmel issued a written statement to address his comments about Detroit, whose Pistons are playing the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

"What I said about Pistons fans during halftime was a joke, nothing more. If I offended anyone, I'm sorry," he said. "Clearly, over the past 10 years, we in L.A. have taken a commanding lead in post-game riots. If the Lakers win, I plan to overturn my own car."

ABC publicity manager Jennifer De La Rosa issued another apology from the comedian Thursday: "It was never my intention to cause anyone pain. I was trying to make a joke and I'm sorry it resulted in anything other than laughter."