Jimmy Fallon Faces Criticism Over Resurfaced Blackface Footage

If you've been on Twitter lately, you might have noticed that one of the site's trending topics was a "Jimmy Fallon is over party." Why did the late-night host receive backlash from users online? According to Decider, the whole situation began when a clip resurfaced of an SNL sketch in which Fallon dons full blackface to impersonate Chris Rock.

The controversial sketch first aired in 2000, during Fallon's six-year stint on the NBC variety program. In the sketch, Fallon, in blackface, impersonates Rock on Regis Philbin's (who was portrayed by Darrell Hammond) late-night talk show. The skit featured Fallon as Rock telling Philbin that there are "not a lot of black folks" on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? (Philbin previously hosted the show), which he surmised was because "black folks don't want to answer questions." Fallon then asked, "Regis, do you think the only way to get a brother on the show is to name it, Who Wants $50 Cash and a Pair of Pumas?"

The sketch does not appear on NBC's website or any official accounts related to SNL. However, fans were able to unearth the segment recently, and it wasn't long before the video drew a great deal of backlash amongst those online. A Twitter user wrote that NBC fired Megyn Kelly "for mentioning blackface" while Fallon "performed on NBC in blackface." (Kelly was fired from the Today Show after she defended blackface when it came to Halloween costumes.) Numerous other users also took to Twitter to comment on Fallon donning blackface in the SNL skit, with many saying that NBC should fire him from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon because of the incident. Although, there were just as many others who believed that the situation was blown out of proportion. One user even tweeted, along with the "#jimmyfallonisoverparty" hashtag, "How bout we cancel cancel culture? Huh that sounds good."

On Tuesday, Fallon addressed this situation with a statement on Twitter. In his message, he noted that he "made a terrible decision" to don blackface for the SNL skit. He continued to write that there is "no excuse for this." He added, "I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable."