20-Year-Old SNL Sketch Causing Problems for Jimmy Fallon

In it, he dons blackface
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2020 12:25 AM CDT
Jimmy Fallon Apologizes Over Blackface Skit
Talk show host Jimmy Fallon attends Variety's Power of Women: New York presented by Lifetime at Cipriani 42nd Street on Friday, April 5, 2019, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

A 2000 Saturday Night Live sketch has come back to haunt Jimmy Fallon. Fallon, now the host of the Tonight Show, was at the time an SNL cast member doing an impression of Chris Rock—in blackface. (Rock left the show in 1993.) The skit was resurfaced on Twitter, where the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty quickly started trending, Entertainment Weekly reports. Many were pointing out that NBC, the network that runs SNL, canceled Megyn Kelly Today in 2018 after Kelly defended blackface. EW notes that while the blackface sketch has been criticized before, this might be the first time Fallon has actually addressed the controversy.

"In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface," he tweeted Tuesday. "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." Neither NBC nor Rock had an immediate comment on the matter. Vulture notes SNL "has an embarrassing history of performers wearing blackface," including Billy Crystal and Darrell Hammond. And ETOnline notes Fallon also impersonated Rock more recently, at the 2017 Golden Globe awards, though not in blackface. (Read more Jimmy Fallon stories.)

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