The latest blackface sketch to resurface on social media: Howard Stern's 1993 skit in which he dons blackface in order to mock Ted Danson, who had earlier that year donned blackface at Whoopi Goldberg's Friar's Club Roast. As USA Today explains, Danson and Goldberg were dating at the time, and Goldberg defended Danson's controversial roast by later saying she had written most of the jokes. In Stern's sketch, which features The Jeffersons' Sherman Hemsley impersonating Goldberg, Stern says the n-word a number of times, as well as other racial slurs, always following the comments up with, "Whoopi wrote it" or some variation thereof. When the skit was tweeted by filmmaker Tariq Nasheed, he posted it alongside a 2019 Stern interview on The View in which he denied using the n-word on his show.
Donald Trump Jr. later tweeted the video, writing, "Yikes!" And on Monday, Stern addressed it on his SiriusXM radio show. "If I had to do it all over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in blackface? Yeah, I was lampooning him and saying, I'm going to shine a light on this," he said. "But would I go about it the same way now? Probably not." Then he amended that to, "Not probably, I wouldn't." He added that he's "evolved and changed" thanks to therapy, and won't even watch his old work, but he said Trump Jr. shouldn't be focusing on him at the moment. "Attacking me during the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter is absolutely (expletive) crazy, concentrating on me," Stern said. "You want to concentrate on me and bully me, and expose me, with all the TV shows I’ve done? They’re all out there. There’s nothing new here. We all know." At least one site was calling Stern's Monday comments a "non-apology." (Read more Howard Stern stories.)