Fallon sorry for ‘terrible’ blackface skit
US talk show host Jimmy Fallon has apologised for his "unquestionably offensive decision" to do blackface in a comedy sketch back in 2000.
The clip from a 2000 episode of Saturday Night Live shows the The Tonight Show host impersonating comedian Chris Rock.
It resurfaced on Twitter on Tuesday, with the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty quickly gaining traction.
Fallon released a statement on Twitter on Wednesday in response to the outrage.
"In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface," he wrote. "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."
While a number of users jumped on the #jimmyfallonisoverparty hashtag to express their disappointment over the "racist" move, others were dismayed by the internet's unhealthy obsession with cancelling celebrities in isolation.
The clip was uploaded with the caption "NBC fired Megyn Kelly for mentioning blackface. Jimmy Fallon performed on NBC in blackface," in reference to the US Morning Show anchor claiming that blackface was acceptable in the context of Halloween costumes in 2018.
Kelly had said blackface was "OK when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character."
The backlash was swift, and while she apologised during her next appearance, she was dropped from the show shortly after.
Many expressed confusion over the fresh wave of criticism, given the clip is 20 years old and has been circulated and debated many times before, while others pointed out that a number of comedians have performed in blackface on SNL and should be copping the same criticism.
So people are just now realizing that Jimmy Fallon did blackface like 20 years ago. But he is far from the only one. SNL has a long history of it. Bill Hader did it as recently as 2013. #jimmyfallonisoverparty— parmachactually (@parmachactually) May 26, 2020
Fallon has actually performed his Chris Rock impersonation a second time since 2000, at the 2017 Golden Globes (sans face paint).
The TV personality rolled out a drunken impression of Chris Rock telling a joke about The People Vs. OJ Simpson, with the camera cutting to awkward reactions from the crowd.
It didn't go over very well with the audience then either, and after his "flat" hosting effort that year, he wasn't invited back.
Originally published as Fallon sorry for 'terrible' blackface skit
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. #jimmyfallonisoverparty pic.twitter.com/3o1z5IchIa— @_Amaliza (@Ratgang48) May 26, 2020