Chris Rock; Jimmy Fallon
Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images (2)

Chris Rock has addressed the controversy that arose this past spring when an old clip of fellow comedian Jimmy Fallon impersonating him in blackface on Saturday Night Live resurfaced.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Rock gave Fallon the benefit of the doubt, saying, "Hey, man, I'm friends with Jimmy. Jimmy's a great guy. And he didn't mean anything. 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."

When pressed about whether people are going too far in calling for instances of blackface to be removed from existing movies and TV shows, Rock said, "If I say they are, then I'm the worst guy in the world. There's literally one answer that ends my whole career. Blackface ain't cool, okay? 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."

Speaking separately to the Hollywood Reporter, Rock called Fallon's impersonation of him — which originally aired in 2000, and for which Fallon apologized in May — "bad comedy." He added that Fallon "doesn’t have a racist bone in his body."

Rock will also be stopping by Fallon's Tonight Show in the coming weeks to promote the fourth season of  FX's Fargo  (premiering Sept. 27).

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Episode Recaps

Saturday Night Live - Season 42

Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 46
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
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