Jimmy Fallon offered an official apology to fans for choosing to ‘do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface’ in 2000 and admitted it was ‘a terrible decision.’
Jimmy Fallon, 45, has broken his silence on the backlash he received in the last 24 hours due to a 2000 Saturday Night Live skit he did in blackface. The comedian apologized and took responsibility for his actions and admitted there was “no excuse” for his decision to portray fellow comedian Chris Rock, 55, in the offensive makeup. “In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” Jimmy’s tweet read. “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’s apology brought on a large number of responses, some positive and others negative. “It’s fine jimmy. Cancel culture is terrible,” one follower wrote. “It was a different time back then. It’s good you apologized, but you were on SNL at the time so I assume it was cleared by people there including Lorne. No excuse yes, but don’t beat yourself up over it or let the Twitter mob ruin you,” another wrote. A third wondered why he would only choose to apologize after the skit resurfaced and caused an uproar. “Jimmy! why are you addressing this NOW,” the tweet read.
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
In the skit, which resurfaced online and quickly caused the trending hashtag “jimmyfallonisoverparty”, Jimmy was playing the role of Chris while talking to Darrell Hammond, who was portraying television host Regis Philbin. Since Jimmy wore black makeup on his face and hands, many viewers deemed it unacceptable and a form of blackface culture, which gained popularity back in the 19th century and contributed to racial stereotypes. It wasn’t until the 21st century that white people wearing black makeup became much less popular due to it being deemed as racist and disrespectful to people of color. Other celebrities that have been recently called out on Twitter because of blackface and brownface include British Love Island star Georgia Harrison and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.