by Tim Nasson:
There has been so much faux outrage over white actors impersonating black actors (Jimmy Fallon as Chris Rock), and incredibly talented white actors (Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Chris Lilley) creating and playing hilarious non-white characters (Little Britain, Come Fly With Me, Angry Boys, Jonah From Tonga, Lunatics, and more) and – unnecessarily having to publicly apologize for fear of losing their livelihoods.
Notably absent in the press, every single instance where Billy Crystal plays Sammy Davis Jr. Not a word, anywhere, other than here. Where’s the faux outrage? Crystal played Davis, in blackface, dozens of times, many times with Davis in the same skit. There is literally no reason why Crystal should apologize, nor why any white comic should be chastised or forced to apologize for impersonating anyone, regardless of color, sex or sexual preference. The only outrage is that every other actor and comedian who has been called out has apologized. What’s next? Will straight actors not be allowed to play gay icons? Take Sean Penn and Tom Hanks’ Oscars away from them for playing gay AIDS victims in Milk and Philadelphia, respectively. Take away William Hurt’s Oscar for playing transexual in Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Burn all copies of Robin Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire.
The insanity needs to end.
In the skit below, from Season 9 of Saturday Night Live (1984) Sammy Davis, Jr. (Billy Crystal) visits Ronald Reagan (Joe Piscopo) at the White House to discuss how best to support Reagan’s re-election campaign. Reagan asks Davis to hug democrats to create a media disaster for their party.
Billy Crystal is Sammy Davis Jr. on SNL 1984