'The Tonight Show': Jimmy Fallon apologizes for using blackface on SNL 20 years ago, says 'I'm not a racist'
Jimmy Fallon took responsibility for his actions and mentioned that he is 'horrified, embarrassed and sorry' for the incident
Jimmy Fallon took the opportunity to apologize to the nation on Monday (June 1) night's episode of 'The Tonight Show'. He was branded a racist recently after a story came out about him wherein he used blackface while impersonating Chris Rock during a skit on 'Saturday Night Live' (SNL) in 2000. He apologized for his actions on his social media via a tweet and tonight when his show returned for a brand new episode after a week of reruns, he decided to make right by his viewers and everyone else.
He traded his signature funny monologue that he begins his show with for a heartfelt reflection on his actions from the past. "I had to really examine myself in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on SNL doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface and I was horrified". He also added that he "loves and respects" Chris Rock more than most people in his life.
"I am not a racist. I don't feel this way," he added and also mentioned that he considered staying silent after the story broke because he was afraid. However, he realized that he cannot stay away from admitting that he was "horrified, embarrassed and sorry" for his mistakes and the realization allowed him to break his silence. "I spoke to so many credible and brilliant (people) who I think can help us all out in this incredibly sensitive and in-our-face subject that we need to deal with. How do I change? What do I do?" Jimmy said. "I am clearly not an expert. I am clearly a late-night talk show host and I screwed it up already," he added further before saying, "Let's go, let's reform, let's talk, let's do it".
He then welcomed Derrick Johnson, President of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to educate himself on how to "do better and take responsibility" especially with so many cases of racial crimes across the country and the resulting protests. Johnson began with thanking Jimmy for his opening monologue saying it was "powerful" and required courage. He later spoke about racism, anti-racism, and how to deal with structural racism.
Watch the video by clicking on the link below.