TV host Jimmy Fallon “sorry” for the Blackface 2000 sketch

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NBC Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon apologized for wearing blackface in a Saturday Night Live sketch from 2000.

The clip went viral on Monday and prompted Fallon to leave the series.

In his apology on Tuesday, Fallon said there was “no excuse” for his actions and thanked the audience “for holding me accountable.”

Several politicians and media figures, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have been implicated in recent black-faced scandals.

In the sketch, Fallon wore a black face to impersonate his colleague from the cast of Saturday Night Live, Chris Rock, who is African American, describing him as making a crack joke.

As the hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty appeared on Twitter on Tuesday, Fallon released an apologetic statement for the 20-year-old skit.

“In 2000, when I was on SNL, I made the terrible decision to pretend to be Chris Rock in blackface,” he wrote.

“There is no excuse for this. I am truly sorry to have made this undoubtedly offensive decision and thank you all for holding me accountable. “

Chris Rock has yet to make a public statement about the sketch.

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Saturday Night Live, which has been broadcast since 1975, has a story where non-black actors portray African-Americans.

The LA Times reports that other famous black personalities personified by non-black actors include former President Barack Obama, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray and musician Sammy Davis Jr.

The controversy has also attracted some social media commentators to point out that other comedians, such as late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman, have also drawn sketches of black TV comedies.

NBC, the network that employs Fallon, fired Megyn Kelly, a news anchor in 2018, after making controversial comments defending the use of blackface.

More recently, the Canadian Prime Minister and the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, have both resisted calls to resign for wearing a black face when they were younger.

What is Blackface?

Blackface has a history of perpetuating offensive and racist stereotypes of African Americans dating back over 200 years in the United States.

“It’s a tradition steeped in racism that has a lot to do with the fear of blacks and the laughter of blacks,” said Dr. Kehinde Andrews, associate professor of sociology at Birmingham City University.
told the BBC in 2017
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