The talk show host came under fire when the 20-year-old clip resurfaced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Some believe his apology is not enough.
No matter who your favorite celebrity is, it is more than likely that they have done something problematic and unforgivable. In the year 2000, late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon was a regular on Saturday Night Live. During one broadcast in particular, he impersonated comedian and actor Chris Rock - while in blackface. Yes, we have come to learn about so many of our favorites used blackface to try and be funny, and Fallon just joined the tainted group. In a tweet posted on Tuesday, he finally apologized for his decision. However, it may be too late.
Me consoling myself: blackface jimmy fallon cant hurt you... blackface jimmy fallon cant hurt you...— Slytherinyourmom (@Slytherinyourma) May 26, 2020
Blackface jimmy fallon: pic.twitter.com/uuX6uwDsND
"In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface," he wrote. "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." Many have doubted his sincerity. The tweet was uploaded only after the clip of his sketch resurfaced early on Tuesday morning. It soon went viral. Soon enough, the hashtag "Jimmy Fallon is Over Party" also began trending on the social media platform. Hundreds of Twitter users shunned the talk show host for his skit as well as his silence, prompting the apology.
You and Governor Northam party together at the Klan meetings!— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 26, 2020
The question remains, therefore, would Fallon have made the apology had the clip not gone viral? At the moment, it appears that he simply wishes to save face and do some much-needed PR work. Since his apology was first posted, there has been no word from NBC, the television network that airs his talk show The Tonight Show, on whether he will have to face any consequences at all. in 2018, NBC infamously fired Megyn Kelly for defending the use of blackface. Will Fallon face the same rigor of punishment?
Will NBC make Megyn Kelly give the money back when they fire her?— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) August 13, 2018
The producers of SNL have also been mum about the whole situation. After all, they were also in on the terrible "joke." It is unclear if anyone found the sketch funny then, but definitively, absolutely no one finds it funny now. In the skit, Fallon, dressed as Chris Rock in blackface, comes out to join Regis Philbin, played by Darrell Hammond. He then cracks some jokes in the stylings of Chris Rock. Many who watched the clip found it unbelievable, similar to when it was reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore blackface to a school event. The surprise, nonetheless, was soon replaced by rage.
If he painted his face black then it's blackface. It doesn't matter who he was impersonating. Wrong is wrong. Blackface has never been ok and it really doesn't matter if Chris Rock said it was cool or not. It isn't cool.— Commander Pumpkin-Spicer (@KingOfTheLowEnd) May 26, 2020
One Twitter user wrote, "Stop saying it’s okay because he did blackface 20 years ago. He was 25. He knew what he was doing." Another asked, "So how are we gonna cancel Jimmy Fallon for doing blackface but not cancel Saturday Night Live for letting him do that and giving him a platform?" Trying to find some humor in the situation, there was also this person who made this awful joke: I just woke up to see Jimmy Fallon being canceled, Is it... Is it because he committed some kind of fallony?" The sad thing is, the only "fallony" is that joke. Though the incident may have taken place two decades ago and was "all in good jest," those in the media need to face stronger repercussions for their ignorance. A Twitter cancel party is simply not enough.