April 9, 2018 12:05 AM EDT

Jimmy Kimmel apologized Monday after a Twitter flare-up with Fox pundit Sean Hannity over the weekend was criticized as insensitive to the LGBTQ community.

While the late-night comedian admitted to “having fun with [the] back and forth,” Kimmel said he realized “that the level of vitriol from all sides… does nothing good for anyone, and, in fact, is harmful to our country.”

“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,” Kimmel wrote in a statement shared on Twitter.

Throughout the online fracas, prompted by an April 2 segment on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” mocking First Lady Melania Trump’s accent, Hannity referred to Kimmel as “Harvey Weinsten Jr.” and Kimmel in turn hinted at a sexual affair between Hannity and President Donald Trump.

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Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com.

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