As protests broke out over the police killing of George Floyd in late May 2020, Jimmy Fallon found himself mired in controversy after an old Saturday Night Live sketch was unearthed that showed him using blackface for an impression of Chris Rock. The Tonight Show host issued a public apology on Twitter for the offensive sketch.
“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.”
While the scandal seemingly vanished almost as quickly as it emerged, Rock has stayed quiet about the topic until now. In a new interview with the New York Times, the comedian has nothing but love for Fallon. “Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy. And he didn’t mean anything,” Rock said. “A lot of people want to say intention doesn’t matter, but it does. And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.”
During the interview, Rock was also asked if he thinks people are taking things too far by trying to “expunge blackface from any movies or TV shows where it previously appeared.” Here’s his response:
If I say they are, then I’m the worst guy in the world. There’s literally one answer that ends my whole career. Blackface ain’t cool, OK? That’s my quote. Blackface is bad. Who needs it? It’s so sad, we live in a world now where you have to say, I am so against cancer. “I just assumed you liked cancer.” No, no, no, I am so against it. You have to state so many obvious things you’re against.
Rock can next be seen in the fourth season of Fargo when it hits FX on September 27.
(Via New York Times)