Jimmy Fallon has issued an apology after video surfaced of the late-night host performing in blackface on “Saturday Night Live” two decades ago.
In the clip, which made the rounds Monday on Twitter, Fallon appears in dark face paint while impersonating comedian Chris Rock.
“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” the comedian, 45, wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “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.”
MM has reached out to representatives of “SNL” for comment. A rep for Fallon told MM the comedian has no further comment at this time.
Using the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty, many Twitter users called to cancel the comedian, while others defended him.
“I’m gonna say this, it wasn’t cool,” user @ThirteenCross wrote in response to Fallon’s apology. “Even back then it wasn’t cool. What is important is growth. Owning up to the mistakes, learning from them, and not just moving on but using it as a chance to teach others. We love you, but you’re right. There is no excuse.”
“why is impersonating black ppl so funny back in the day I hate it here,” wrote @hiboiki.
“Jimmy Fallon is finally being cancelled!” wrote @aotdts. “That’s what happens when your the unfunniest person on the planet! #JimmyFallonIsOverParty.”
Other users, however, said they did not see an issue with the resurfaced clip.
“I’m African-American,” wrote @mnl1221. “Jimmy Fallon isn’t doing ‘blackface’; he’s doing Chris Rock. I think it’s time to end the idea that no White person can dress up as a Black person ever. Fallon is doing a spot-on impression of a SPECIFIC PERSON, not spoofing an entire race.”
“This #jimmyfallonisoverparty is dumb as hell,” wrote actor Marlon Wayans. “@jimmyfallon is truly one of the nicest guys I’ve known in our industry. Y’all stop digging up old (expletive).”
In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. 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.
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 26, 2020