Jimmy Fallon apologizes after drawing social media backlash for ‘SNL’ blackface skit

The late-night talk show host was blasted on social media for the resurfaced clip

Cancel culture had its latest event today and it appears its Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon’s turn to be targeted by the social media mob.

Fallon, 45, who took over from Jay Leno to host the renamed The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has mostly avoided scandal through his six-year run with the show. Rumors about the reason for a 2015 finger injury he suffered might have been the worst thing he’s dealt with so far. Speculation at the time suggested alcohol may have been involved, but Fallon explained it as a freak accident.

But today, social media somehow dug up an old Saturday Night Live skit from 2000 that showed Fallon in full blackface. The skit shows Fallon impersonating former SNL star Chris Rock who was a member of the show’s cast from 1990 – 1993.

First tweeted by @chefboyodear as reported by Variety, the skit, also featuring SNL’s Darrell Hammond, is a little cringeworthy in light of today’s much more sensitive racial meter, but has remained mostly below the radar until today.

 

The tweet referenced former NBC’s Megyn Kelly’s 2018 comments on wearing blackface during Halloween, which were viewed as the reason she was ultimately let go from her eponymous show. (Bad ratings and her $69M contract were likely the main reason.)

According to Variety, Fallon is just one of several comedians who’ve worn blackface including fellow talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and comedian Sarah Silverman. Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. took blackface to the ultimate extreme by playing a Black man in the film Tropic Thunder.

After the #JimmyFallonisOverParty became a hotly debated trending topic on Twitter, Fallon quickly apologized.

 

 

The debate raged on both sides but it seems this tweet summed it up perfectly:

Or really, this one:

Blackface, as a whole, is a racist and outdated practice. Hopefully, celebs and comedians have now learned their lesson. But in the midst of a pandemic that, given Memorial Day sightings of masses of people hanging out together, we figure is set for a resurgence, we just can’t summon the same outrage over this at the moment.

Let’s keep that same energy in November and cancel someone who truly deserves it.

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