Chris Rock has addressed a resurfaced clip of Jimmy Fallon doing an impression of him while in blackface.
The 55-year-old comedian said he wasn’t too fussed about the skit, which appeared on Saturday Night Live 20 years ago.
“Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy. And he didn’t mean anything,” Rock told The New York Times. “A lot of people want to say intention doesn’t matter, but it does. And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.”
Rock also addressed whether blackface scenes being pulled from movies and TV shows are taking things a step too far.
“If I say they are, then I’m the worst guy in the world. There’s literally one answer that ends my whole career,” he said. “Blackface ain’t cool, OK? That’s my quote. Blackface is bad. Who needs it? It’s so sad, we live in a world now where you have to say, I am so against cancer. ‘I just assumed you liked cancer.’ No, no, no, I am so against it. You have to state so many obvious things you’re against.”
In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rock simply referred to the sketch as “bad comedy” and that he didn’t believe Fallon to “have a racist bone in his body.”
In May, Fallon’s impression went viral and he instantly took to Twitter to apologise for what was an “unquestionably offensive decision.”
A month later, he spent an entire episode on The Tonight Show discussing the controversial video.
“I’m going to start this personal and then expand out because that’s where we all need to start: with ourselves and looking at ourselves in the mirror,” Fallon said on June 1, days after George Floyd’s death led to protests around racism and police brutality.
READ MORE: Jimmy Fallon gives emotional apology for SNL blackface skit: ‘I am not a racist’
“And I had to really examine myself, 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 the fact that people were trying to cancel me or cancel the show, which was scary enough. But the thing that haunted me the most was, how do I say, ‘I love this person, I respect this guy more than I respect most humans, I am not a racist, I don’t feel this way’?”
Chris Rock, Saturday Night Live, Blackface, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
World news – CA – Chris Rock addresses Jimmy Fallon’s blackface impression of him: ‘He didn’t mean anything’