Why Is Everyone Mad At Jimmy Fallon?

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.
Jimmy Fallon is trending on the internet, but it’s not for his unique on-air games or his awkward quarantine FaceTime interviews. The late night host is under fire for a problematic throwback that has been unearthed, revealing him in blackface.
Long before Fallon became Hollywood’s best friend and the sixth host of The Tonight Show, he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live. While many might argue about the quality of SNL over the years, one thing’s for certain: like most television shows of the early 2000s, the NBC sketch series didn’t exactly age very well. Take, for instance, a 2000 episode in which Fallon literally painted himself Black to portray comedian Chris Rock. And yes — looking back, it’s as bad as you think. 
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Twenty years later, the choice has come back to haunt Fallon in a big way. As clips and stills from the ill-advised sketch circulated the internet, many people were rightfully stunned and disturbed to see the TV star participating in something so offensive. It didn’t take long for Fallon to join the ranks of Doja Cat and Kanye West with a new trending hashtag calling for his swift cancellation. 
Even if you somehow didn’t know it back then, in 2020, we all need to agree that blackface is absolutely unacceptable. Its roots are wholly racist and derogatory to black people, so even done in jest, it’s offensive — and we have to take instances of it seriously. Years after the sketch, Fallon understands that, and he was quick to issue an apology once the clip resurfaced. 
“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” the late night host wrote on Twitter following the backlash. “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,” concluded the apology.
Though the blackface was part of a sketch likely not written by Fallon himself, SNL and NBC have not yet issued a statement on the matter. Chris Rock has also not commented.

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