Jamie Foxx's defense of "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon, who apologized Wednesday for a blackface "Saturday Night Live" sketch, has resulted in a large number of comments defending blackface.
Following Fallon's tweeted apology, Foxx, 51, wrote in since-deleted comments on Fallon's most recent but unrelated Instagram post, "Bro you ain't got to apologize … You are a comedian … and a great one at that … You did an incredible impersonation of Chris rock … It was not black face ... we did a show called in living color where we did a Characters from every race," he said, referring to the black-oriented 1990-1994 Fox sketch-comedy series. There is no record of its few white stars, primarily Jim Carrey and Ali Wentworth, performing in blackface there.
"You are all the way good … keep doing you my friend! You are necessary!!," Foxx said. He added in a second post, "Some of y'all didn't even see the sketch... relax and laugh! It s Other [expletive] out here that really don't care bout ya... use that energy for them!!! But leave my mans alone."
Foxx separately commented on E! News' Instagram account, "He was doing an impression of chris rock. It wasn't black face. We comedians I know it's a tough time right now. But this one is a stretch. On a show called in living color we played every race Let this one go. We got bigger fish to fry."
Fallon, 45, had responded to the sketch resurfacing on video, tweeting, "In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable."
The sketch, from the March 11, 2000 show with host Joshua Jackson and musical guest 'N Sync, featured Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin auditioning potential new talk-show partners. Fallon, playing comedian and former "SNL" star Chris Rock, comes on following Ana Gasteyer's character. While that sketch appears on NBC's "SNL” website without the Fallon portion, the thumbnail image linking to that truncated clip nonetheless is a still of Fallon in blackface.
Most of the replies to Foxx's Instagram comments defended the concept of blackface and objected to "cancel culture" and "social justice warriors." A smaller number denounced blackface, with one person writing, “It was comedy to the white people back then in the 19th century, too."
Foxx's comments were deleted shortly after Newsday contacted the star's representative asking for comment on the pro-blackface replies. Neither that rep nor NBC representatives responded to Newsday requests for comment.