Chris Rock wasn’t hurt by Jimmy Fallon’s use of blackface while impersonating him on Saturday Night Live 20 years ago.
“Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy. And he didn’t mean anything,” Rock, 55, recently told The New York Times.
The Everybody Hates Chris star added that he believes Fallon’s performance – which went viral after resurfacing online – wasn’t meant to be malicious.
“A lot of people want to say intention doesn’t matter, but it does,” Rock said. “And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.”
Rock was a cast member on SNL from 1990 to 1993.
In June, Fallon, 45, apologised after the SNL skit resurfaced online.
“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,” he said on the Tonight Show. “And I was horrified. Not of people trying to ‘cancel’ me or cancel this show, which is scary enough. 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.’”
He continued: “And instead, what I kept getting advised was to just stay quiet and not say anything. And that’s the advice because we’re all afraid. I took it for a minute, I took the advice. I thought, ‘God, I’m going to do this wrong and say something and get myself into even more trouble. I’m going to make this worse. I don’t know what to do.’ So I thought about it, and realised that I can’t not say, ‘I’m horrified and I’m sorry and I’m embarrassed.’”
Earlier, he had also apologised over Twitter, saying “there was no excuse for this” after social media users called for his cancellation.
Fallon has since come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission