Some conservative critics are calling out late-night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon for not making jokes about Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who has gained national attention for his admission that he dressed up in blackface in the 1980s.
Kimmel and Fallon’s critics argue that the two may not be not condemning or mocking Northam because they have darkened their appearances in the past for comedic performances. The New York Post, Breitbart, and Fox News are among the outlets that have taken note. So has the Washington Times — twice.
Fallon did a Chris Rock impression back in his “Saturday Night Live” days around the turn of the century. His full hair and makeup included blackface. Multiple people with knowledge of the show told TheWrap that the impersonation was likely done with former cast member Rock’s blessing.
Kimmel wore dark makeup when playing Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey on “The Man Show,” a series that ended in 2004.
Neither Kimmel nor Fallon have mentioned blackface in their monologues since the Northam news broke. But Fallon has not completely ignored the Northam scandal.
On Tuesday’s show, Fallon joked about the State of the Union, “Pretty much all the Congressional Democratic women wore white. In response, the governor of Virginia said, ‘Oh sure, when they do it, it’s OK.’”
The joke was in reference to reports that Northam appeared in a 1980s yearbook photo dressed as either a Klansman or in blackface. Northam said in a news conference over the weekend that he was not in the photo, but admitted he once darkened his face for a Michael Jackson costume.
The joke comes up around the three-minute mark below:
Three people with knowledge of Monday’s “Tonight Show” taping told TheWrap that Fallon told a Northam joke at rehearsal, but the quip did not make it to air.
Representatives for NBC and “The Tonight Show” declined to comment.
Fallon taped this week’s Thursday and Friday shows on Thursday, and did not mention Northam or blackface in either taping, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Watch Kimmel as Malone below.
Kimmel’s personal rep did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story. Nor did a rep for “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
We followed up with both to ask if Kimmel brought up Northam or blackface at Thursday’s taping, but did not immediately hear back.
Kimmel and Fallon sure are awfully quiet on the blackface scandals!
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) February 6, 2019
KIMMEL/FALLON DRESSED IN BLACKFACE WHEN IT WAS’COOL’, SHOULD THEY BE FIRED? https://t.co/7ZB1udJqje
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) February 7, 2019
Oh wait, didn’t they dress as “blackface” too? https://t.co/MLIANhTZic
— Wayne Dupree ???? (@WayneDupreeShow) February 7, 2019
The comedy potential in Northam absurdly admitting to moonwalking while blacked up as Michael Jackson was endless, but late night comedians ignored it. Wonder why?
Almost like they’re primarily political operatives and comedians second.https://t.co/Masf0clDqy
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 5, 2019
10 Stars Whose Blackface Blunders Backfired, From Ted Danson to Kylie Jenner (Photos)
Don’t even think of mimicking these celebrities.
The singer posed in blackface on the cover of her album “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter” in 1977, and later went on to justify it by saying, “I have experienced being a black guy.”
The “Cheers” star appeared at a N.Y. Friars Club Roast in 1993 with then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg wearing blackface makeup to perform an offensive N-word-filled comedy routine.
The Oscar-winning actor came under fire in 2012 when video surfaced of a 2004 school fundraiser featuring Hanks and another man wearing blackface and stereotypical African clothing. Hanks later condemned the bit as “horribly offensive.”
The host of “America’s Next Top Model” took heat, as did her show, for a photo shoot in 2009 in which competing models were made to look “biracial.” Styling techniques included the darkening of contestants’ skin.
Following the epicure’s ouster from the Food Network in the wake of her infamous N-word controversy, Deen posted a photo on Twitter from her show’s 2011 Halloween episode featuring her son, Bobby, dressed as Ricky Ricardo, complete with brownface makeup.
The diva took heat for a 2011 L’Officiel Paris cover with an “African Queen” theme for which the pop star’s skin was darkened.
The singer/dancer/actress drew criticism over a 2013 Halloween costume for which she donned dark makeup to masquerade as Uzo Aduba’s “Orange Is the New Black” character Crazy Eyes.
The YouTuber known for his outrageous characters in 2014 was forced to apologize for the use of blackface in some of his videos, including a parody of talk show host Wendy Williams.
Fans of the reality star jumped all over a photo she posted to her Instagram account from a 2015 shoot, outraged that her skin appeared to be darkened. “This is a black light and neon lights people lets all calm down,” Jenner responded.
Luann de Lesseps
The former countess and “Real Housewives of New York” star apologized for her 2017 Halloween costume as Diana Ross — even though she insisted that she didn’t actually do blackface. “I had bronzer on that I wear normally like the rest of my skin,” she later told Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live.” “So I didn’t add anything to or would ever, ever dream of doing a blackface. Ever.”
These celebrities offer a timely reminder that it’s never OK — so don’t try it
Don’t even think of mimicking these celebrities.