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.— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 26, 2020
I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.
I am trying to figure out if there’s a common denominator between Jimmy Fallon wearing blackface on SNL in 2000—
and Jimmy Fallon wearing brownface on Late Night in 2012 (“I watched them darken his skin and thicken his eyebrows in the studio for this,” someone who worked there at the time told me)—
and Fred Armisen darkening his skin on SNL from 2008 to 2012—
and Darrell Hammond wearing blackface on SNL throughout the late 90s and early ‘00s—
and Will Ferrell wearing redface on SNL last year—
Is there any single individual who had a say in the writing and production of all these sketches?
Someone in some sort of, I don’t know, producer-type role?
Someone with some manner of, how do I put this, executive-type authority?
Someone who famously had to be publicly pressured into hiring black women a few years ago?
Someone who once played himself asking Oprah Winfrey to play Aunt Jemima in a cold open deleted from NBC’s website, though the rest of the episode remains?
Someone who had his show’s first black woman repertory player—a one-season performer who resented being cast as stereotypes—call him “Mister Lorne” in that same sketch?
Someone who in 2014 cut a sketch about the Ferguson protests?
Someone who last year reassured a new hire that they’d be able to wait out the controversy around his racist comments?
Someone who maybe owes the public some accountability too?
Is there anyone who fits that bill?
Images via NBC.
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