Jimmy Fallon addresses the controversial blackface episode on 'Saturday Night Live', reveals he was asked to stay mum

WION Web Team New Delhi Jun 03, 2020, 01.44 PM(IST)

Jimmy Fallon Photograph:( Twitter )

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Fallon said he was asked to keep mum on the matter but decided to speak out in a monologue.

Just a few weeks back, an old video from 'Saturday Night Live' had surfaced on the internet where host and comedian Jimmy Fallon was seen impersonating fellow comedian Chris Rock with blackface.

Fallon on May 28 had issued an apology on Twitter when fans called out the racism laced video. On Monday, the TV presenter opened up once again at the beginning of his show 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'.

Fallon said he was asked to keep mum on the matter but decided to speak out in a monologue.

"Seeing what is going on in our country, I'm not going to have a normal show tonight — I'm going to have a different show. I'm going to start this personally, and then expand out, because that's where we all need to start," Fallon said referrring to the nationwide protest that has gripped American citiies over George Floyd's death.

Floyd, an unarmed black man died in police custody last week after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.

"With ourselves, and looking at ourselves in the mirror. And 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,” Fallon said. He added that he was “horrified” by the wake of disparagement and calls on social media questioning his character.

"Not at the fact that people were trying to cancel me, or cancel the show – which is 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,'" Fallon said.

"And instead, what I kept getting advised was to just stay quiet and to not say anything. And that's the advice because we're all afraid."

Fallon said that after first paying heed to the advice, he decided to go against it and speak up.

"I took it for a minute. I took the advice and I thought, 'Oh God, I'm going to do this wrong. You're right, I'm going to say something and get myself into even more trouble. I'm going to make this worse. I don't know what to do,'" he continued. "So I thought about it, and I realized that I can't not say, 'I'm horrified and I'm sorry and I'm embarrassed.'”

“What that small gesture did for me was break my own silence, and then what I started to do is talk to some experts – some of which are here tonight and this week – and I realized that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me, and the rest of us, are doing."

"We need to say something," he said. "We need to keep saying something. And we need to stop saying 'That's not okay' more than just one day on Twitter."

During the show, Fallon invited AACP president Derrick Johnson and CNN anchor Don Lemon to speak as he wanted to be a “better ally.”