Jimmy Fallon has issued an apology for using blackface to impersonate Chris Rock on Saturday Night Live back in 2000.
In the sketch that reportedly aired on March 11, 2000, on NBC, Fallon portrays Rock as he appears on a fictional talk show hosted by Regis Philbin, portrayed by Darrell Hammond.
The video resurfaced to a roar of backlash on social media with The Tonight Show host addressing the matter directly in a tweeted statement.
“While on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this,” he wrote. “I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”
In 1998, five years after Rock’s departure, Fallon became a cast member of the popular sketch show.
The apology followed the eruption of the #JimmyFallonIsOverParty hashtag used by many to demand that the comedian be “canceled” for his past offensive choices.
Not all users of the hashtag were in agreement though. Fellow comedian Marlon Wayans used the hasghtag to come to his defense.
“This #jimmyfallonisoverparty is dumb as hell. @jimmyfallon is truly one of the nicest guys I’ve known in our industry. Y’all stop digging up old shit. Go find a new tree to piss on. This one is clean,” wrote Wayans.
Rock has not released an official statement in response to the recirculating of the insulting clip.
ESSENCE also reached out to Saturday Night Live, but didn’t hear back immediately.