Chris Rock is finally gearing up for the premiere of Fargo’s fourth season after the Bad Germ delayed it by nearly six months. In anticipation, the comedian, actor, and Saw superfan offered up a gripping chat with the New York Times in which he discusses the show, police brutality, and the current state of U.S. racial politics. He also takes a moment to address the controversy that engulfed Jimmy Fallon in May, when an old Saturday Night Live clip of him impersonating Rock in blackface resurfaced online.
“Hey, man, I’m friends with Jimmy. Jimmy’s a great guy,” he said. “And he didn’t mean anything. A lot of people want to say intention doesn’t matter, but it does. And I don’t think Jimmy Fallon intended to hurt me. And he didn’t.”
He goes on to address the larger reckoning around blackface in comedy that recently saw episodes of 30 Rock, Scrubs, The Office, Community, W/ Bob & David, and Golden Girls scrubbed from streaming services. In the aftermath, some criticized the mass removals, citing the lack of nuance applied to the practice’s satirical use on a show-by-show basis.
After being asked if “people [have] taken it too far,” Rock replies:
If I say they are, then I’m the worst guy in the world. There’s literally one answer that ends my whole career. Blackface ain’t cool, OK? That’s my quote. Blackface is bad. Who needs it? It’s so sad, we live in a world now where you have to say, I am so against cancer. “I just assumed you liked cancer.” No, no, no, I am so against it. You have to state so many obvious things you’re against.
Read the full interview, which is very, very good, here.
Fargo’s fourth season premieres on FX on September 27. Revisit the trailer below.