Politics

Kimmel and Fallon Are Likely Avoiding Northam Story Because of Histories with Blackface

By Zachary Leeman | February 7, 2019

In a world in which comedy matters more than politics, the controversy swirling around Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) would be the subject of every late-night comedian’s monologues this week.

The Democrat politician is facing trouble after a recently released photo appears to show him dressed in blackface as a college student. Northam initially apologized for the photo — though the very next day he denied being in that picture (the other individual in the image is shown wearing a KKK outfit).

To make matters even odder, when he denied being in the picture, he admitted to having dressed in blackface — as entertainer Michael Jackson — on a different occasion.

In addition to this, now the state’s attorney general, Mark Heller, has admitted that he, too, dressed in blackface years ago, in a “glaring” example from his past, he said in a statement.

These stories beg for comedians to pounce and point out the hypocrisy of our political leaders.

However, late-night comedians have remained mum on the matter — especially Jimmy Kimmel (shown above left) and Jimmy Fallon (above right), two of the top late-night hosts.

For Kimmel and Fallon, avoiding the Northam and Heller stories may be a public relations strategy in these highly sensitive times, since both comedians have a history of using blackface themselves to get laughs.

Kimmel wore blackface for a Comedy Central sketch years ago.

He was poking fun at NBA player Karl Malone at the time.

Related: Northam of Virginia Must Resign, Says the NAACP and Others

Fallon also used blackface in a sketch years ago when he was impersonating comedian Chris Rock.

The Kimmel and Fallon cases are obviously quite different than that of Gov. Northam of Virginia, since these guys are comedians and in both instances their offensive gestures were presumably attempts (though weak and inappropriate) to elicit laughs.

But their silence now speaks volumes.

Both comedians go after President Donald Trump for virtually anything and everything they can, but they’re avoiding a story like Northam’s and Heller’s because it saves them the trouble of addressing their own pasts.

It goes to show that most late-night comedy today is not actually about comedy.

It’s about going after whomever is “safest” — and whomever the mainstream media deem “evil.”

Check out Fallon’s blackface sketch below:

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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