Jimmy Fallon has apologized for a 2000 Saturday Night Live skit in which he showed up in blackface.
The skit included Fallon doing an impression of Chris Rock. As part of his impression, he blackened his face and wore a wig resembling a Black man’s hair texture.
In a tweet released Tuesday, Fallon wrote, “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. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank you all for holding me accountable.”
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.
I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 26, 2020
The accountability references a harsh backlash on Twitter after the skit resurfaced to new audiences. The backlash included the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty, which went viral. Twitter users also brought up other times comedians used blackface when making fun of Black entertainers, such as when Jimmy Kimmel donned blackface to portray both NBA star Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey, as well as when former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond wore blackface to portray Jesse Jackson.
And when he was Oprah. pic.twitter.com/am14kzdH0C
— Munchycrust (@CaseyKane1) May 27, 2020
Darrell Hammond did Jesse Jackson all the time, nobody said anything about that. Fallon did that Chris Rock impression, once? Another time hosting an awards show (not in blackface). Yes, doing blackface is repugnant, but this was for a tv show 20 years ago. We’re reaching here. pic.twitter.com/SHcVER0WIN
— Michael Bresciani (@MikeBresciani82) May 26, 2020
Photo credit: NBC/Twitter