Jimmy Fallon Apologizes for ‘SNL’ Blackface Skit 20 Years Ago
Jimmy Fallon. Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock
Making amends. Jimmy Fallon apologized for taking part in a blackface skit on Saturday Night Live 20 years ago, after the clip resurfaced on social media on Tuesday, May 26.
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“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” Fallon, 45, wrote via Twitter after the video became a trending topic. “There is no excuse for this.”
The SNL sketch, which is no longer available in the NBC show database, featured Fallon in blackface impersonating Rock, 55, on Regis Philbin’s (played by Darrell Hammond) late-night show.
“I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable,” the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon host added.
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 New York native is the latest celebrity to come under fire for taking part in blackface, or appearing to wear it.
Sia defended herself in July 2019 against allegations from Taylor Swift fans that she had worn blackface during a performance years prior.
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“For the swift fans trying to make out that I would ever do blackface please see this video,” she wrote via Twitter in July, alongside a link to her YouTube video for a February 2011 show in Australia. “I was painting myself into the backdrop, it was a pre cursor to the wig.”
In the video, Sia, 44, sings “Never Gonna Leave Me” standing in front of a dark piece of cardboard, a black wig and matching black face and body paint.
The claims came after photos surfaced of the “Chandelier” singer covered in black paint were spotted on Twitter — amid Sia’s support for Scooter Braun during the Swift-Braun feud regarding her music rights.
Joy Behar landed in hot water after a 2016 episode of The View, in which she revealed that she once dressed up as a “beautiful African woman” for Halloween, resurfaced in February 2019 on Twitter. (Her cohost Whoopi Goldberg insisted that it was “not blackface.”)
At the time, fans made connections to Megyn Kelly’s 2018 comments about blackface, which resulted in her getting fired by NBC. “Megyn Kelly was fired from her show for asking a hypothetical question about blackface. Joy Behar actually wore blackface, and admitted it, and showed a picture of it on TV, yet she still has her job,” one Twitter user wrote.
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Kelly, 49, asked about blackface on Halloween during a discussion on her show that fall.
“What is racist? Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” she said during an episode of Megyn Kelly Today. “Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing like a character.”
Although Kelly later apologized for her comments, she was not reinstated by the network.
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