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Jimmy Fallon apologizes for wearing blackface in 2000 ‘SNL’ video

The ‘Tonight Show’ host says it was “unquestionably offensive” for him to paint his face for a Chris Rock impression.

Jimmy Fallon attends the SeriousFun Children’s Network Gala at Pier Sixty in New York in 2017.
Jimmy Fallon in 2017.
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

NEW YORK — NBC “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon has apologized for wearing blackface during an impersonation of fellow comic Chris Rock on a 2000 episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

Fallon tweeted on Tuesday that “there is no excuse for this.”

Discussion of Fallon’s 20-year-old skit surfaced this week after a video of it was posted online. According to Variety, it was first posted on Twitter by a user named “chefboyohdear,” and showed Fallon, as Rock, appearing on a talk show.

Fallon’s statement on Twitter said it was a terrible decision to darken his face while playing Rock, also a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member.

“I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable,” the late-night star wrote.

The Twitter user who posted the clip mentioned Megyn Kelly, who was taken off the “Today” show and eventually left NBC News after suggesting in 2018 that it was OK for children to wear blackface in Halloween costumes. She apologized for her remark.