The internet’s most annoying and misleading hashtag convention, #[fillintheblank]isoverparty, strikes again. Every time I see that hashtag I try to ignore it but know that by the end of the day morbid curiosity will eventually lead me to clicking on it only to be disappointed to find out that [fillintheblank] farted on a kitten or something equally banal. Today it was the end of Jimmy Fallon’s career that was being smugly and gleefully celebrated on Twitter after a 20-year old clip of him doing a Chris Rock impression in full blackface on Saturday Night Live resurfaced. According to The New York Post, the clip was posted with the caption “NBC fired Megyn Kelly for mentioning blackface. Jimmy Fallon performed on NBC in blackface,” which is simply exhausting. With everything going on in #thesesupremelyfuckeduptimes, re-litigating blackface is definitely a party I’m not RSVPing to, I don’t care how socially distanced it is. I’m so very tired.
According to The New York Post:
Jimmy Fallon is catching heat on social media over a resurfaced 2000 “Saturday Night Live” sketch featuring the former cast member in blackface.
The 45-year-old host of “The Tonight Show” went viral on Twitter overnight following a tweet with the hashtag #jimmyfallonisoverparty, and a 20-year-old “SNL” clip featuring Darrell Hammond and Fallon, face painted brown, doing an impersonation of Chris Rock.
The ensuing lament over the beloved broadcaster’s now-tarnished reputation was swift.
Oh no. Jimmy’s reputation as a pandering clown has been tarnished?! Will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and causes Justin Timberlake to finally turn his back on the only person cringier than himself? According to The Wrap, the video has surfaced before to be used as a conservative cudgel.
This is not the first time the clip has resurfaced. Conservative critics called out Fallon and fellow late-night host Jimmy Kimmel last year after they did not make jokes at the expense of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who gained national attention for his admission that he dressed up in blackface in the 1980s.
Kimmel and Fallon’s critics argued that the two may not have condemned or mocked Northam because they have darkened their appearances in the past for comedic performances. Kimmel’s blackface moment occurred when he played Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey on “The Man Show,” a series that ended in 2004.
The Wrap went on to detail some of the arguments made by various Twitter users which includes a parade of old chestnuts such as “what about the Wayans in White Chicks” and “But Tropic Thunder…” and round and round we go. Is it bad, of course. Should Jimmy be mortified, of course. But no, Jimmy’s not “canceled” because he did blackface, and neither are Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, Al Jolson’s ghost, Justin Trudeau, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Ted Danson, Billy Crystal, Julianne Hough, Justin Timberlake (just a hunch) or a thousand other successful white people who have done blackface at some point in their careers. But don’t ever let us hear that Jimmy farted on a kitten or he’s canceled for real!