Jimmy Fallon has issued a public apology following a newly-surfaced Saturday Night Live clip of the star performing in blackface.
The late-night host broke his silence on Tuesday (May 26) after an old video emerged on Twitter showing him impersonating Chris Rock wearing dark brown face makeup, a textured wig and similar goatee to resemble the famous comedian. The sketch, originally aired in 2000, drew ire from fans who deemed the footage highly offensive, hence launching the hashtag “#jimmyfallonisover.”
"I'm sorry but this is my first time ever seeing this [and] this is making my heart hurt," one user tweeted. Someone else wrote, “No one is asking y'all to cancel @JimmyFallon. However, what we are asking from Jimmy is an acknowledgement to his use of blackface, why did he do it an an apology to black people for donning such a racist, oppressive and downright disgusting overt display of symbolic racism.”
Fallon eventually took to Twitter to apologize for the “offensive” impersonation. "In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface," Fallon tweeted. "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."
In the controversial clip, also featuring Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin, Fallon asks, “Regis, do you think the only way to get a brother on the show is to name it, Who Wants $50 Cash and a Pair of Pumas?” after quipping not many black contestants appear on the game show because "black folks don't want to answer questions." (It’s not Fallon’s first time impersonating Rock, he did it again — sans blackface — in 2017.)
See the clip below.
Photo: Getty Images/YouTube