Jimmy Kimmel issued a public apology on Sunday after feuding with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Twitter.
The two had exchanged nasty tweets about each other last week. Hannity called the ABC late-night talk show host a "pervert," a "pig" and "Harvey Weinstein Jr" over past sexist gags on his former series The Man Show and slammed him as a "bully" for making fun of Donald Trump's wife and First Lady Melania Trump's accent on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! Hannity is a staunch supporter of the president, while Kimmel is vocal about his criticism of him.
The two also mocked each other over their show's ratings, to which Kimmel said, "Don't worry - just keep tweeting - you'll get back on top! (Or does Trump prefer you on bottom?)," which drew numerous accusations of homophobia.
"While I admit I did have fun with our back and forth, after some thought, I realize that the level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country," Kimmel said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday. "Even in 2018, the vile attacks against my wife and wishes for death on my infant son are shocking and I encourage those who made them to give their words and actions some thought. I, too, will give my words more thought and recognize my role in inciting their hatefulness."
"By lampooning Sean Hannity's deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize," he said. "I will take Sean Hannity at his word that he was genuinely offended by what I believed and still believe to be a harmless and silly aside referencing our First Lady's accent."
The First Lady, he continued, "almost certainly has enough to worry about without being used as a prop to increase TV ratings."
"I am hopeful that Sean Hannity will learn from this too and continue his newly-found advocacy for women, immigrants and First Ladies and that he will triumph in his heroic battle against sexual harassment and perversion," Kimmel said.
Hannity said on Twitter he would give a "full and comprehensive response" to Kimmel's apologetic statement on Hannity on Monday.