Howard Stern has had more than a few controversial moments during his career, and it would seem that one has come back into the public eye. Recently, footage resurfaced from a 1993 performance during which Stern wore blackface and used racial slurs. Now, the radio host has addressed the footage, acknowledging that his career has been extremely crazy and that he’s made some negative choices along the way:
Howard Stern broke down the footage and his actions Monday morning on his Sirius XM show (via Deadline). The longtime shock jock would go on to say that while he completely owns what he’s done in the past, he has since evolved.
The footage in question was from a New Year’s Eve pay-per-view special from 1993. In it, Stern parodies Ted Danson’s blackface performance during a Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. In the sketch, Howard Stern plays the role of Ted Danson, while Sherman Hemsley plays Whoopi Goldberg.
As hard as it may be to believe, Howard Stern isn’t the only celebrity to recently run into trouble for performing in blackface. Jimmy Fallon was recently called out for appearing in blackface on an episode of Saturday Night Live while he was still a cast member. The talk show host has since acknowledged his actions and apologized for them.
The BBC’s Little Britain, a sketch comedy show that ran during the 2000s, has also been in the headlines due to some of its actors appearing in blackface in certain sketches. As a result, both Netflix and the BBC have pulled the series from streaming. The show’s creators have also apologized for these creative choices.
All of the controversies arrive as many around the globe call for social justice and seek to combat systemic racism following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed after a police officer pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Howard Stern’s actions (along with those of his peers) represent a practice that has been heavily discouraged in recent years, and Hollywood will more than likely continue to look down on blackface as time goes on.
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