HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Jimmy Fallon, the host of The Tonight Show, apologized on May 26 after the video of him appearing in blackface and impersonating the comedian Chris Rock went viral on social media. As he has been facing criticism for the blackface skit, he has expressed his supports to Black people.
“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,” said Fallon via Twitter. He was doing blackface 20 years ago during a skit on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Some people have used the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty and criticized that Fallon was racist, while others defended him and claimed that he was just playing his role as a comedian.
“You should research the history of blackface. It was a despicable form of racism that was used to spread stereotypes and mock all black people. Dressing up as a specific black person while impersonating him is not blackface. And it completely waters down the term,” said the online user Jordan Souza via Twitter.
“You weren’t in blackface. You wore makeup to portray a character. You were making fun of Chris Rock, not of him being black. It’s a shame people don’t understand the difference. What’s worse is if you tried to explain it like I did, they’d come after you harder,” tweeted Keith Lyle, an online user.
On May 30, Fallon tweeted, “This is not just black people protesting. All races have had enough of the abuse of black lives. Things must change. Every one of us needs to be the change for good. #BeTheChange#BLACK_LIVES_MATTER”
Fallon admitted his mistakes on The Tonight Show on June 1 and spoke to NAACP President Derrick Johnson regarding the issues of racism.