Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s Tonight Show, apologies for wearing blackface during a Saturday Night Live skit in the year 2000. The video clip went viral on May 25 and the backlash started pouring in. Many people went onto say that he should quit the show.
Jimmy sent out an apology on May 26, and said that there is “no excuse” for the actions. He also thanked viewers to hold him accountable for what he did wrong. Several media personalities and politicians including Justin Trudeau have been embroiled in the recent past due to blackface scandals.
Blackface skit led to a backlash
Jimmy Fallon wore blackface and impersonated a fellow cast member, Chris Rock. He is an African American and Jimmy portrayed him sharing humor about crack cocaine. His blackface skit soon flooded in with backlash and Twitter was trending with #JimmyFallonIsOverParty. Jimmy apologized for the 20-year old skit.
He tweeted that he made a terrible decision to impersonate his colleague Chris Rock while making blackface. He said he was sorry for making an offensive move which is pretty evident now. Chris Rock has not come out with any public statement of the same.
Saturday Night Live has been telecasted since 1975 and has a long history of non-black actors impersonating African Americans. LA times was quick to report famous black personalities being impersonated by non-black actors – the list included former President Barack Obama. Some more people on the list were activist Jesse Jackson, musician Sammy Davis Jr, and doctor Conrad Murray.
The controversy drew a lot of attention on social people and people started pointing out other comedians like Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel. They have also performed skits with blackface and are now being called out.
NBC had fired news anchor Megyn Kelly in 2018 when she made a controversial comment to defend the use of blackface. Recently, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the Canadian prime minister both resisted calls to resign for wearing blackface in the past.
Why is blackface controversial?
For centuries, the white has been known to spread racism and make stereotype comments on African American. This has led to horrific incidents that are relevant even today. The tradition of racism builds fear among African Americans and also mocks their race. It is important to resist such acts in order to not spread racism among individuals who get inspired by such skits.