Jamie Foxx defended Jimmy Fallon after an old clip of him doing blackface on Saturday Night Live resurfaced on social media recently.
The 45-year-old comedian faced backlash from fans on Tuesday, May 26, after a video of a 2000 sketch from Saturday Night Live made him a trending topic on Twiter. In the skit, which first aired in 2000 and featured Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond, Fallon impersonated Chris Rock while wearing dark brown makeup and a textured wig.
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“He was doing an impression of Chris Rock. It wasn’t black face [sic],” Foxx commented on an E! News Instagram post about the controversy on Tuesday. “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 clip went viral on social media with the hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty, Fallon issued an apology about wearing blackface in the Saturday Night Live skit.
“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,” Fallon 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 Fallon has sparked debates online about insensitive sketches. Last February, Nick Cannon exposed both Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for their previous impersonations of black celebrities.
“Are these your Kings of Late Night???” Cannon wrote on Instagram, sharing 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 wore blackface will doing an impersonation of basketball player Karl Malone on a 2000 episode of The Man Show. The 52-year-old late-night show host did not comment on it after Cannon called him out. Although Cannon expressed his disappointment in Fallon and Kimmel over the racially insensitive impressions, he admitted that he had “love for those men” and didn’t think their careers should be destroyed over it.