Late-night host Jimmy Fallon has apologized publically after facing backlash on social media over an old “SNL” skit from 2000 in which he wore blackface, calling the decision “unquestionably offensive.”
The hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty was trending Tuesday as a result of the Fallon and Darrell Hammond sketch, which features Fallon doing an impersonation of Chris Rock in full hair and makeup to look like the former cast member.
“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,” Fallon wrote.
Reps for Fallon and “SNL” did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
This is not the first time the clip has resurfaced. Conservative critics called out Fallon and fellow late-night host Jimmy Kimmel last year after they did not make jokes at the expense of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who gained national attention for his admission that he dressed up in blackface in the 1980s.
Kimmel and Fallon’s critics argued that the two may not have condemned or mocked Northam because they have darkened their appearances in the past for comedic performances. Kimmel’s blackface moment occurred when he played Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey on “The Man Show,” a series that ended in 2004.
Neither Kimmel or Fallon’s camp responded at the time of that story’s posting last February. However, multiple people with knowledge of Fallon’s 2000 “SNL” skit told TheWrap that the impersonation was likely done with former cast member Rock’s blessing.
“I just want to understand how this got through writing, table reads, rehearsals etc. This is more than Fallon’s fault,” wrote @BravoJGray.
“Well, Fallon shouldn’t have did what he did but hey guys . . . why not cancel Loren Michaels? He approved the sketch. Too, LM has a problem giving POC and WOC a seat at [the “Saturday Night Live”] table for the last 50 years,” wrote user @_rockN_rolla.
Others pointed out the many other stars who have been called out for using blackface in the past, including actor Robert Downey Jr. and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Hello RDJ anyone?? #jimmyfallonisoverparty,” wrote user @nova_mare along with a GIF of Downey Jr. in the 2008 Ben Stiller flick “Tropic Thunder,” in which he played a black Vietnam war soldier.
“So jimmy fallon is canceled for this but justin trudeau does it dozens of times throughout his youth and is still re-elected as PM,” wrote @kyriehugsloth. “I don’t understand this planet.”
“[Unfortunately] this gets mentioned/tweeted about once a year without a peep of an apology from @jimmyfallon,” tweeted @thatchelseagirl, who also provided a link to a 2019 Jezebel.com article covering Nick Cannon’s callout of Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman and other entertainers who have worn blackface. Silverman has since apologized.
15 Stars Whose Blackface Blunders Backfired, From Ted Danson to Jimmy Kimmel (Photos)
Don't even think of mimicking these celebrities.
The singer posed in blackface on the cover of her album "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" in 1977, and later went on to justify it by saying, "I have experienced being a Black guy."
The "Cheers" star appeared at a New York Friars Club Roast in 1993 with then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg wearing blackface makeup to perform an offensive N-word-filled comedy routine.
The Oscar-winning actor came under fire in 2012 when video surfaced of a 2004 school fundraiser featuring Hanks and another man wearing blackface and stereotypical African clothing. Hanks later condemned the bit as "horribly offensive."
The actress appeared in blackface in two episodes of the 2006-13 sitcom "30 Rock," in one case dressing as a Black man while co-star Tracy Morgan, who is African American, appeared as a white woman. Series creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock pulled the episodes from circulation in 2020.
The host of "America's Next Top Model" took heat, as did her show, for a photo shoot in 2009 in which competing models were made to look "biracial." Styling techniques included the darkening of contestants' skin.
Following the epicure's ouster from the Food Network in the wake of her infamous N-word controversy, Deen posted a photo on Twitter from her show's 2011 Halloween episode featuring her son, Bobby, dressed as Ricky Ricardo, complete with brownface makeup.
The diva took heat for a 2011 L'Officiel Paris cover with an "African Queen" theme for which the pop star's skin was darkened.
In a 2012 episode of "30 Rock," Hamm teamed with Tracy Morgan to re-create a parody version of a dated old TV show modeled on the stereotype-laden "Amos and Andy." Hamm doesn't so much blacken his face as dirty it, but the episode proved so problematic that creator Tina Fey pulled it from circulation in 2020.
The singer/dancer/actress drew criticism over a 2013 Halloween costume for which she donned dark makeup to masquerade as Uzo Aduba's "Orange Is the New Black" character Crazy Eyes.
The YouTuber known for his outrageous characters in 2014 was forced to apologize for the use of blackface in some of his videos, including a parody of talk show host Wendy Williams.
Fans of the reality star jumped all over a photo she posted to her Instagram account from a 2015 shoot, outraged that her skin appeared to be darkened. "This is a black light and neon lights people lets all calm down," Jenner responded.
Luann de Lesseps
The former countess and "Real Housewives of New York" star apologized for her 2017 Halloween costume as Diana Ross -- even though she insisted that she didn't actually do blackface. "I had bronzer on that I wear normally like the rest of my skin," she later told Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live." "So I didn’t add anything to or would ever, ever dream of doing a blackface. Ever."
The longtime "Inkmasters" star announced he was departing the show in 2020 after an old photo resurfaced of him wearing blackface while portraying an NBA player.
The late-night host came under fire for a 2000 "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which he impersonated former "SNL" cast member Chris Rock -- in full makeup.
In June 2020, ABC late-night host apologized for a series of sketches from earlier in his career when he darkened his skin to impersonate Black stars such as NBA player Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey. "I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke,” he said of the sketches from "The Man Show" which he co-hosted from 1999-2003.
1 of 16
These celebrities offer a timely reminder that it’s never OK — so don’t try it