Jimmy Fallon apologizes for 'Saturday Night Live' blackface sketch from 20 years ago

Fallon wore blackface to do an impression of comedian Chris Rock.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Jimmy Fallon apologized on Tuesday after a 20 year old video resurfaced showing him wearing blackface and doing an impression of Chris Rock on "Saturday Night Live."

"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 "Tonight Show" host wrote on Twitter.

The clip from 2000 was shared on Twitter on Monday and has racked up more than 960,000 views. In it, Fallon appears in full blackface to portray Rock, who was a "Saturday Night Live" cast member from 1990 to 1993.

Fallon has impersonated Rock several times over the years. In the 2000 "SNL" sketch, he did an impression of Rock on Regis Philbin's late-night show, with Darrell Hammond playing Philbin.

Many fans expressed their support for how Fallon stepped up and apologized for wearing blackface 20 years ago in the sketch.

"An example of the classiest way to respond to these scenarios!" said one commenter.

Another fan also called the comedian a "class act."

"Thank you for owning up to this — something many people refuse to do. Times change and so can people," wrote another. "Your Pals support you always."

Chris Rock has not yet responded on Twitter to the incident.

Fallon is not the only comedian to have donned blackface in the past and later faced scrutiny, as some noticed on Monday.

“Y’all cancelling Jimmy Fallon but not Jimmy Kimmel for doing the same thing?” one person replied. “Interesting.”

Kimmel had worn blackface while doing impressions of Oprah Winfrey and NBA player Karl Malone in 2000 as part of "The Man Show."

Others noted Sarah Silverman wore blackface in 2007 as part of a bit, which she apologized for later.

"I don’t stand by the blackface sketch ... I can’t erase it. I can only be changed by it and move on," she told GQ two years ago.