The anti-racists sentiments that have grown around the US since the death of George Floyd has spread to the entertainment industry, where many performers and celebrities are being forced to reflect on their past actions and words that seem inappropriate now.
The newest celebrities who is facing pressure from fans online is Howard Stern. Although the ‘King of Radio’ is no stranger to controversies, Stern’s usage of blackface and racial slurs have made him the target of those who are usually more supportive of him.
Earlier this week, videos of Stern wearing blackface and using the n-word began resurfacing on YouTube and other social media networks, many of them calling Stern a liar and a hypocrite.
Stern faces even greater scrutiny and criticism because he was recently on ABC’s “The View” where he argued that he had never used the racial slur in his career. Many videos were edited so that the problematic skit comes right after Stern’s statement about using the n-word.
Various media sources have reported that the skit came from 1993’s “New Year’s Rotten Eve Pageant” which Stern hosted and was broadcasted as a pay-per-view event. It seems to be a parody of Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg’s performance the same year which involved blackface.
In the video, Stern mimics Danson while Stern’s longtime sidekick Robin Quivers plays the role of Goldberg. Stern as Danson makes exaggerated, corny jokes that was likely made to be offensive.
As the audience members audibly expressed their shock at Stern’s unrestrained usage of racial slurs, Stern defends himself by saying that “Whoopi wrote it”. He then continues to use racial slurs throughout this skit.
The objective of the skit seems to poke fun at how Danson thought he was somehow given the right to make racist jokes because Goldberg, his girlfriend at the time, did not object to them.
One of the Stern’s longtime employees who had also worked for Stern’s 1993 PPV said that everyone wanted to push the limits knowing that it was not subject to the regular censorship by the FEC. He also added that he did not believe his boss was a racist.
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