Alyssa Milano is responding to claims that she donned blackface in a newly resurfaced video from 2013. The 47-year-old actress was accused of blackface when a still of her with a noticeably darker complexion from a Funny or Die video resurfaced. However, Milano responded that she was only pretending to be Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.
"Hey, a—holes. The below picture is me parodying Jersey Shore and Snookie's (sic) tan," she tweeted on Tuesday, June 30. "Snookie's (sic) tan (she is a sweetheart by the way) is worthy of parodying as is Trump's 'tan.' So go f— yourselves with your smear campaign." Milano included with her tweet a clip from behind the scenes of the original video, in which she is made up of Polizzi's signature pouf and fake tan before striking a pose with pouty lips.
Polizzi, who was adopted by Italian-American parents in New Jersey but born in Chile, was known during her original stint on MTV for her obsession with tanning. The show coined the phrase "GTL," which stands for "Gym, Tan, Laundry." The reality personality has not weighed in publicly on the controversy.
Milano might not have felt her performance deserved a mea culpa, but there have been several A-listers who have issued apologies for donning blackface in the past over the last few weeks. In May, Jimmy Fallon apologized for impersonating Chris Rock during a 2000 Saturday Night Live skit. "I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable," the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon host added.
Jimmy Kimmel also apologized for "thoughtless" blackface skits and impersonations, including his impressions of NBA player Karl Malone in blackface for KROQ radio in the mid-'90s. "I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us," the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host said. "That delay was a mistake. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke."
He added that at the time, he simply thought of the impersonations at the time as harmless. "Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices," he wrote. "I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show. I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that. I won't be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas."