Fallon's apology last month for wearing blackface on Saturday Night Live while impersonating Chris Rock in 2000 is a reminder that the long-running show has frequently had non-black actors portray black people, from Billy Crystal as Sammy Davis Jr. to Darrell Hammond as Jesse Jackson to Fred Armisen as Barack Obama. "As a long-standing institution of American comedy, SNL provides a window into a culture that has continued to passively embrace an inherently racist tradition meant to demean and mock black people," says Bethonie Butler. She adds: "Even when SNL has employed racial stereotypes in an attempt to offer subversive commentary, past efforts often fell flat because of the show’s lack of diversity on- and off-screen. When Oprah Winfrey hosted in 1986, the cold open centered on her pointed refusal to dress up as Aunt Jemima. But the same sketch featured Danitra Vance, then the only black comedian on the show, serving coffee to executive producer Lorne Michaels, whom she called 'Mr. Lorne,' while dressed like Celie, (Whoopi) Goldberg’s character from The Color Purple. In an ironic twist nearly 30 years later, SNL was urged to hire a black female comedian after Thompson told TV Guide in a 2013 interview that he would no longer dress up as a woman to play prominent black women, including Winfrey. A few weeks later, the show — which hadn’t featured a black woman in its cast since Maya Rudolph’s departure in 2007 — controversially featured host Kerry Washington as Michelle Obama, with cast members poking fun at how they hadn’t seen the first lady in 'years.'"