NBC’s Tonight Program host Jimmy Fallon has apologised for wearing blackface in a Saturday Night Live act from 2000.
The clip went viral on Monday, and resulted in require Fallon to stop the program.
In his apology on Tuesday, Fallon stated there was “no excuse” for his actions, and thanked the general public “for holding me responsible”.
A number of politicians and media figures, in addition to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have been embroiled in recent blackface scandals.
In the act, Fallon used blackface to impersonate fellow Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Rock, who is African American, depicting him as making a joke about fracture drug.
As the hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty trended on Twitter on Tuesday, Fallon launched a statement apologising for the 20- years of age spoof.
” In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface,” he composed.
” There is no reason for this. I am really sorry for making this certainly offending choice and thank all of you for holding me responsible.”
Chris Rock has actually not yet made any public statement about the sketch.
Saturday Night Live, which has been on air since 1975, has a history of having non-black stars represent African-Americans.
The LA Times reports other famous black figures impersonated by non-black stars include previous President Barack Obama, civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson’s physician Conrad Murray and artist Sammy Davis Jr.
The controversy also drew some social networks analysts to point out that other comedians, such as late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman have also performed telecasted funny sketches in blackface.
NBC, the network that uses Fallon, fired news anchor Megyn Kelly in 2018 after she made controversial remarks safeguarding making use of blackface.
More recently, the Canadian prime minister and Virginia Guv Ralph Northam have both effectively resisted calls to resign for using blackface when they were younger.
What is blackface?
Blackface has a history of perpetuating offending and racist stereotypes of African Americans going back more than 200 years in the United States.
” It’s a tradition rooted in bigotry which is very much about the worry of black individuals and the laughing at black people,” Dr Kehinde Andrews, Partner Teacher in Sociology at Birmingham City University told the BBC in 2017