Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, anti-racist protests of scales not seen for years gathered in the streets. Simultaneously, those online started going through the back catalogues of virtually everyone on TV and resurfaced material that is considered offensive in today’s standards.
One of the many comedians who had apologized for their previous materials was Jimmy Fallon. As seen in the picture above, he had used blackface in a skit that he performed for Saturday Night Live in 2000.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, 55 year old comedian Chris Rock defended Fallon, although the famously kind-hearted Fallon had already apologized for his previous actions. In the interview, the comedian seemed very understanding of Fallon and his intentions.
Rock began by saying that he may not be the most objective on the issue because he is friends with Fallon. The stand-up comedian continued that the intentions of a comedy material matters to him, and said he trusts Fallon did not mean to be mean or racist in his portrayal in SNL.
Rock acknowledged the people who argue that intention does not matter and that the material speaks for itself. However, as a SNL alumni himself, Rock seemed to diverge with the extreme opinions online. Rock worked as a SNL crew between 1990 and 1993.
As aforementioned, the 45 year old Fallon already apologized for his actions after the controversial sketch resurfaced on Twitter. In a June taping of the “Tonight Show”, Fallon said he had to face himself in the mirror about the way he portrayed Rock in a performance from 20 years ago.
In an emotional address, Fallon said he was scared of two things. First, he said he was scared about the people who attempted to cancel him and his show. However, he said he was much more afraid of how he can tell his friend he has great respect for him despite what he did.
Before addressing the issue on his show, Fallon had already apologized via his Twitter account. As hordes of angry Twitter users swarmed his and his show’s account, the comedian said he had no excuse for what he did. He has since endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement.
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