Chris Rock defends Jimmy Fallon over 20 year-old blackface impression
September 17, 2020 The Laugh Button Staff Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon, News
Earlier this year, Jimmy Fallon caught a lot of flack over a sketch that he did on Saturday Night Live back in the year 2000. In the sketch, Fallon did an impression of Chris Rock, while donning blackface. Fallon apologized for the sketch almost as soon as it came to light.
One person who never actually commented on the sketch was, surprisingly, Chris Rock. Now he’s finally commenting on it, while he’s out on the press circuit discussing the upcoming season of Fargo, which he stars on.
“I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy. And he didn’t mean anything,” said Rock in an interview with the New York Times. “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.”
“If I say they are [taking it too far by removing films and TV shows that feature blackface],” Rock continues, “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 further spoke to The Hollywood Reporter where he wrote the sketch off as simply “bad comedy” and made sure to note that Fallon “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body”. And honestly, it’s not entirely surprising that Rock is forgiving. He is a comedian, after all, and can probably see that the sketch was not meant to insult him or put him down based on race. Still, times have certainly changed since 20 years ago, and everyone seems to be generally less forgiving. But we’re happy that Chris Rock clearly is.