You're killing me, Tom Hanks. Your dad-next-door good looks and charming voice have captivated me since I first saw you as the loveable man-child in Big. As you danced across that novelty piano floor thing with Robert Loggia, I thought to myself: "Hey, this a guy I can get behind… morally." But lately, in a video unearthed from nearly ten years ago, Tom Hanks is seen hosting a fundraiser while investment banker James Montgomery struts around in blackface.
Okay, okay, so Hanks never actually appears in blackface and, in fact, claims to have not known the act was going to happen.
"I was blindsided when one of the parents got up on the stage in a costume that was hideously offensive then and is hideously offensive now… what is usually a night of food and drink for a good cause was, regrettably, marred by an appalling few moments," said Forrest Gump and Woody.
When are people going to realize that blackface is just… not a thing to do anymore? I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say something like, "The white performers, donning chocolate syrup all over their faces, recreated an incredible portrayal of the African-American culture that could be only be described as stunningly accurate?"
Is Tom Hanks secretly a Confederate-flag-waving nutjob who burns crosses and says: "You best be turnin' round and going back to where you came from" while spitting out a huge glob of Skoal? No, of course not. The truth is, Hanks probably was blindsided by whatever idiots approved a blackface performance as a fundraiser and genuinely did not know this was going to happen.
America, you want to dole out the punishments? Point your fingers elsewhere! Hanks was a patsy! Regardless, what we should all take away from this video is that blackface was never, and never will be ethnically sound. What if black people smeared vanilla frosting on their faces and started talking about small-batch microbrewed IPAs, fixed-gear bikes, and how their time spent studying abroad was just so rewarding? That wouldn't be cool, would it?