Jimmy Fallon Apologises For 'Unquestionably Offensive' Blackface Skit 20 Years Ago
Talk-show host Jimmy Fallon has issued an apology after a Saturday Night Live skit from 20 years ago resurfaced.
The gag involved Fallon doing blackface while doing an impression of comedian Chris Rock.
Fallon admits the skit was in poor taste and is 'unquestionably offensive'.
"In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this," Fallon said on Twitter.
"I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable."
Fallon worked on Saturday Night Live between 1998 to 2004 and has hosted the show three times since.
The hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty started trending around the world and people on social media believed the incident was enough to have the 45-year-old 'cancelled'.
In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this.- jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 26, 2020
I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.
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One person on social media said: "I know I did not just open Twitter and see that Jimmy Fallon did blackface in 2000. Nobody is safe from Twitter when we got this much time in our hand. First Lana, then Doja cat, and now Jimmy Fallon. Please let me catch my breathe"
Another added: "And here I was thinking Jimmy was unproblematic."
However, many jumped in to defend the talk-show host, with one Twitter user writing: "Lay off Jimmy Fallon, Robert Downey Jr did the same and no one said s***."
Another commented: "Anyone else getting sick and tired of twitter cancelling people left and right?"
... This was 20 years ago...- Chinny Igwe (@chinny_igwe) May 26, 2020
Cancelled culture needs to chill tf out
Y'all do realise that not everything people do and say 20 years before is the same as what they do and say now...
20 years ago I thought breastmilk was the only form of nutrition (I imagine, I was 1)
It wasn't the last time that Fallon did his Chris Rock sketch, however he left out the blackface makeup for the follow ups. The Tonight Show host included Rock in his 23 celebrity impressions on The Howard Stern Show before doing it again at the 2017 Golden Globes.
The awards show sketch involved Fallon doing a drunken impression of Chris Rock telling a joke about The People vs OJ Simpson. When the camera cut to various members of the audience, some looked pretty awkward during the gag.
People offended by Fallon's use of blackface during the SNL sketch called for him to be fired by NBC, who produces his talk-show.
Critics pointed to how Megyn Kelly was dumped by the network in 2018 after questioning why it was bad for kids to dress up in blackface for Halloween if they're impersonating a scary character. NBC has not commented on the Fallon issue.
Featured Image Credit: PA