Oscar-winner Tom Hanks said he was “blindsided” when a parent got up in blackface at a fundraiser for his child’s school
(Updated: 6:08 a.m. EST)
Tom Hanks responded to a controversial video that emerged Tuesday showing the actor hosting a fundraising auction that featured a white man in blackface, labeling the incident "hideously offensive."
Hanks acknowledged that he emceed the annual fundraising event for St. Matthew's Parish School, the Pacific Palisades school his children attended, but said the incident was regrettable.
"In 2004, I was blindsided when one of the parents got up on the stage in a costume that was hideously offensive then and is hideously offensive now," Hanks said in a statement to TheWrap. "What is usually a night of food and drink for a good cause was, regrettably, marred by an appalling few moments."
The video came to light in a report on the Daily Caller. Eagles member Glenn Frey co-hosted the event, but the man in blackface, was identified by the publication as investment banker James Montgomery, CEO of Montgomery & Company.
In the video he is outfitted in African tribal wear and is holding a stuffed gorilla.
At one point in the video, Hanks jokes, "Ladies and gentlemen, a celebrity in our midst. Who would have thought that Bill O’Reilly would join us?”
Montgomery acknowledged that he was the man in the video and apologized for any offense his costume gave.
"Each of us does and says things at one point or another in our lives we regret," Montgomery told TheWrap. "The costume I wore to the 2004 Fundraiser was one such thing for me. While I can understand that some people may have read something other than what was intended into my wearing that costume to a costume party, as anyone who knows me would attest, that is not consistent with my beliefs nor is it with who I am."
A spokeswoman for Frey did not respond to requests for comment.
The fundraiser was reportedly centered on a "Castaway" theme — a reference to the 2000 hit film starring Hanks.
The Daily Caller was co-founded by political analyst Tucker Carlson and launched in 2010.