Howard Stern Breaks His Silence After Receiving Backlash for Resurfaced Blackface Sketch, Use of N-Word
“I’ll be the first to admit. I won’t go back and watch those old shows; it’s like, who is that guy..."
Radio host Howard Stern has found himself in hot water this week after a video surfaced from 1993 in which he wore blackface and used the N-word. Now, the shock jock has broken his silence about the clip that many have now deemed to be offensive.
In a clip that was posted to Twitter, Stern can be seen denying ever using the N-word when confronted about it while appearing on “The View.” It then cuts to a 1993 clip from Stern’s pay-per-view “New Year’s Rotten Eve Pageant,” which shows him parodying Ted Danson’s infamous blackface performance that he did that year alongside Whoopi Goldberg.
In the sketch, Stern can be seen playing Danson in blackface as his longtime sidekick Robin Quivers asks him questions the answers of which are involve the use of the N-word. When the audience expresses shock at what he is saying, Stern as Danson defends himself by quipping, “Whoopi wrote that.”
I guess Blackface Matters pic.twitter.com/RUA74PUQXJ
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) June 11, 2020
After days of backlash, Stern finally addressed the controversy himself.
“The sh– I did was f—ing crazy,” he said, according to Deadline. “I’ll be the first to admit. I won’t go back and watch those old shows; it’s like, who is that guy. But that was my shtick, that’s what I did and I own it. I don’t think I got embraced by Nazi groups and hate groups. They seemed to think I was against them too. Everybody had a bone to pick with me.”
Stern went on to say that he would upset people on all sides of the political spectrum back in the day, and to express his regret over the sketch.
“The big headline is this, and this is my fear in all of this,” Stern added. “I was able to change my approach, able to change my life and change how I communicated. If I had to do it all over again, would I lampoon Ted Danson, a white guy in blackface? Yeah, I was lampooning him and saying, I’m going to shine a light on this. But would I go about it the same way now? Probably not. Not probably, I wouldn’t.”
He then explained that the special was pay-per-view, meaning they weren’t encumbered by the usual restraints posed by the FCC.
“We’ve got the whole world watching — let’s push the limits,” he said of the creative approach to the special. “The leash was off and they were going to be rabid dogs.”