Chris Rock has been keeping somewhat of a low profile these days. The comedy legend is currently on a promo run for season four of the FX series Fargo. In recent interviews with the New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, Rock talked about the new season of Fargo and weighed in on Jimmy Fallon’s recent controversy over his blackface impression of him.
“Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy,” Rock told the NYT. “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 talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Rock labeled the sketch as “bad comedy,” and that he doesn’t have any hard feelings towards Fallon. He added that Fallon “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body” and that Fallon called him after apologizing for the sketch.
Back in late May, an early 2000’s SNL sketch of Fallon in blackface impersonating Chris Rock resurfaced. Fallon opened his June 1st show by issuing an apology.
“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’?”
Fallon was not the only comedian who was slammed for donning blackface. Jimmy Kimmel apologized for wearing blackface in a sketch where he impersonated Karl Malone. Some episodes of the hit tv show 30 Rock were pulled from Hulu due to characters wearing blackface.
The NYT asked Rock if the push to “expunge” blackface from comedy had been taken too far. Rock replied:
“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.”