After a weeklong break, Jimmy Fallon addressed his SNL blackface controversy on The Tonight Show.
In the sketch, aired two decades ago, Fallon is in blackface impersonating Chris Rock.
He apologized for it, saying: "In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable."
The hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty went viral, with many calling for Fallon’s cancelation. However, others came to his defense, including actor Jamie Foxx.
In Monday's episode, Fallon stated that it was going to be "a different kind of show" and that he would "start this personally, then expand out."
He stated: "That's where we all need to start, with ourselves and looking at ourselves in the mirror. 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. Not of people trying to ‘cancel’ me or cancel this show, which is scary enough. The thing that haunted me the most was, how do I say I love this person?”
He continued: “I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I’m not a racist. I don’t feel this way.”
He revealed that he had been advised to “just stay quiet and not say anything” and that he had actually taken the advice before he decided to release his statement.
He said, “I realized that I can’t not say I’m horrified and I’m sorry and I’m embarrassed. I realized that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me and the rest of us are doing, staying silent. We need to say something. We need to keep saying something. And we need to stop saying ‘that’s not OK’ more than just one day on Twitter.”
He stated that he "needed to get educated" and managed to speak to several experts, including Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, who a guest on the show that night.