Recently, late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon faced backlash over his portrayal of Chris Rock, complete with blackface, during an SNL skit back in 2000. The video was dug up and quickly went viral, prompting the social justice warriors of the internet to form a mob and urge that Fallon be canceled.
Fallon apologized, saying there was no excuse for doing so, though it would appear that not everyone agrees with the outrage in the Hollywood community. Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx spoke up on Instagram in the comments of the E! News post about Fallon, telling everyone that they need to drop this one and calling the premise of Fallon committing a racist act a “stretch.”
“He was doing an impression of chris rock,” wrote Foxx. “It wasn’t black face. We comedians I know it’s a tough time right now. But this one is a stretch. On a show called in living color we played every race Let this one go. We got bigger fish to fry … #changecourse.”
Foxx has been an avid defender of celebrities playing roles that aren’t their own race, especially comedians. While on the Joe Rogan podcast in 2017, he noted he loved Robert Downey Jr’s role in Tropic Thunder and, based off how well he did his performance, Foxx asked him to play a Mexican character in a production of his own.
“It’s sort of like, the entertainers, you’ve got to give us room,” said Foxx about giving leeway to actors and comedians.
Downey Jr’s role used blackface as a commentary on the lengths method actors will go to in order to get to where they are in a role. While he did act like a black man in a stereotypical fashion, Downey Jr. meant absolutely no racism with his portrayal, which is largely understood by everyone.
Fallon, likewise, was simply portraying Chris Rock. Foxx advising the world to move on and let this one go is a wise move.
Earlier, I wrote more on this, commenting that Jimmy Fallon shouldn’t have apologized for his role and, in fact, likely did more damage to our culture by doing so.