Ted Danson will always be best remembered for his classic role on the hit sitcom Cheers and his latter day dramatic work on shows like Damages and CSI.
But there is one infamous incident from his past we’re sure he’d like people to forget.
Back in 1993, when Danson was dating his Made In America co-star Whoopi Goldberg, he appeared at N.Y. Friars Club Roast in blackface and performed a raunchy, n-word filled routine that offended many in attendance.
“I was confused as to whether or not I was at a Friars event or at a rally for the KKK and Aryan Nation,” talk show host Montel Williams said at the time.
New York City’s first and so far only African-American mayor David Dinkins was also in attendance and was not amused. He said the jokes Danson made “were pretty vulgar and many were way, way over the line.”
However others in attendance, such as model and fashion icon Beverly Johnson, defended the TV star.
“If you can’t see the humor at a place where there’s supposed to be over-the-line jokes, then there’s something really wrong,” she told the New York Daily News.
Goldberg later took responsibility for the act and admitted that she had written Danson’s off-color material. Their relationship ended not long after the controversy subsided.
Ironically, the 20th anniversary of this public relations debacle coincides with a recent spate of blackface-related controversies.
Actress Julianne Hough has been subjected to widespread criticism for darkening her skin to portray an Orange Is the New Black character for Halloween, the Utah Jazz have been similarly assailed for tweeting a picture of a white fan painted to look like Karl Malone and a racially insensitive blackface Trayvon Martin costume has been making the rounds on social media.
Do you think blackface is here to stay or will people ever give it a rest for good?