The Tonight Show host, 45, faced backlash from fans on Tuesday, May 26, when video of a 2000 sketch from the live comedy show made him a trending topic on Twitter. In the video, Fallon wore dark makeup all over his face and hands while impersonating Chris Rock on Regis Philbin‘s (played by Darrell Hammond) late-night show.
“He was doing an impression of Chris Rock. It wasn’t black face [sic],” Foxx, 52, commented on an E! News Instagram post about the controversy on Tuesday night. “We comedians, I know it’s a tough time right now. But this one is a stretch. On a show called In Living Color we played every race. Let this one go. We got bigger fish to fry … #changecourse.”
Hours after the video made the rounds on Twitter, Fallon issued a sincere apology for his past mistake.
“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,” the Fever Pitch star tweeted. “I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”
This isn’t the first time the Almost Famous actor’s insensitive sketch has sparked debates online. In February 2019, Nick Cannon exposed both Fallon and fellow late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for their previous impersonations of black celebrities.
“Are these your Kings of Late Night???” Cannon, 39, wrote on Instagram alongside a video compilation of both comedians. “You know I’m always on the side of the comedian and never pander to the sensitive, but I feel there needs to be some ‘truth & reconciliation’ discussions and teachable moments amongst our communities. I’m ready and willing for the discourse … In the meantime, I’ll just leave this right here. Tell the Jimmys to holla at me!”
Kimmel, 52, wore blackface while doing an impression of basketball player Karl Malone on a 2000 episode of The Man Show. The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host did not comment on his prior scandal after Cannon called him out. While Cannon expressed his extreme disappointment in the two hosts for their offensive incidents, he admitted he had “love for those men” and didn’t think they should be canceled.Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
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