Chris Rock broke his silence over the controversy that surrounded “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon after video resurfaced of him making a Rock in blackface impression in a 2000 skit on “Saturday Night Live” .
Fallon was forced to issue two apologies this spring when critics called for its cancellation after the clip resurfaced amid increased scolding for past use of blackface by comedians. Although the controversy has centered on Fallon’s impression of Rock, the comedian has remained relatively silent on the subject until now.
Speaking to the New York Times ahead of the season premiere of “Fargo,” Rock explained that while he certainly doesn’t condone the use of blackface, he was never offended by Fallon’s impression. .
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“Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy is a great guy, ”he told the store. “And he didn’t mean anything. A lot of people mean that intention doesn’t matter, but it’s true. And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.
He later added that he thought “black face is not cool,” arguing “who needs it? ”
Rock’s comments put a book on the controversy that surrounded the late-night host, who previously spent time on his show apologizing to viewers.
“I really had to examine myself in the mirror this week because a story came out of me on ‘SNL’ that made an impression of Chris Rock in blackface,” Fallon said in June.
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“Not that people were trying to cancel me or the show – which is pretty scary – but what haunted me the most was how to say, ‘I love this person, I respect this guys more than I respect most humans, I’m not racist, I don’t feel that way, ”Fallon added at the time. “And instead, what I kept telling myself was to stay silent and say nothing. And that’s the advice because we’re all scared. ”
Fallon explained that he ultimately decided that staying silent on the matter was exactly the sort of thing that caused racial tension issues in the United States.
“I realized that silence was the biggest crime that white people like me and the rest of us commit,” he concluded.
His words on his late night show came shortly after he took to Twitter to apologize for it as well.
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“In 2000, while I was on SNL, I made the terrible decision to pass myself off as Chris Rock while I was in blackface. There is no excuse for it, ”he wrote. “I am so sorry for making this indisputably offensive decision and thank you all for holding me accountable.”