The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon felt the saying “anything on the Internet is there forever” in its full entirety when a 20-year-old SNL sketch featuring him in blackface to impersonate comedian Chris Rock, resurfaced on Twitter on 25th May and triggered a hate-fest against him. The issue became so severe that the late-night host had no option other than apologizing for the miscalculated decision he took more than two decades ago.
The SNL sketch in question was aired in 2000 and featured Jimmy Fallon impersonating the black comedian Chris Rock, 55. He wore heavy brown makeup and a textured wig to appear like Rock, who himself was a former cast member on SNL from 1990-1993. The sketch included Fallon, as Rock, appearing on a talk show hosted by Regis Philbin (played by SNL alum Darrell Hammond).
While the said sketch doesn’t exist on NBC or even on SNL’s websites, the clip was resurfaced late on 25th May when a Twitter user @chefboyohdear shared it. “NBC fired Megyn Kelly for mentioning blackface. Jimmy Fallon performed on NBC in blackface,” wrote the user in the video.
The video raked up millions of views on Twitter and soon the hashtag included within the post, #jimmyfallonisoverparty, began trending as fans of Jimmy Fallon began calling him out for presenting a racist skit.
While some demanded for Fallon’s firing from The Tonight Show, many demanded for Saturday Night Live to be banned. But a few only wanted one thing- for Jimmy Fallon to come forward and accept his mistake.
“No one is asking y’all to cancel @JimmyFallon. However, what we are asking from Jimmy is an acknowledgment to his use of blackface, why did he do it an apology to black people for donning such a racist, oppressive and downright disgusting overt display of symbolic racism,” one user tweeted.
And Jimmy Fallon has finally extended an apology
With the backlash over the resurfaced SNL clip not showing any signs of dying out, Jimmy Fallon has finally issued an apology for the “terrible decision” he took to impersonate Chris Rock in blackface, while thanking everyone “holding me accountable.”
“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” Fallon, 45, shared on Twitter.
“There is no excuse for this,” he continued. “I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”