The conservative site The Daily Caller unearthed a 2004 video on Tuesday that depicts actor Tom Hanks as an MC at his son’s private school fundraiser. Hanks is seen jokingly interacting with a fellow parent and investment banker, James Montgomery, who is dressed in blackface and sporting an Afro wig, leopard toga, and carrying an oversized Black gorilla.
Hanks seems very comfortable while Montgomery foolishly entertains his oblivious audience, appearing to have no objections to the blatant racism of the scenario.
Eight years later, Hanks, who has now been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, is vehemently defending himself to the media, stating that parts of the event were “hideously offensive” and “appalling?” Why didn’t Hanks protest his associate’s actions then?
Could it be that Hanks is only coming forward with an apology now because many are labeling him culturally insensitive, racist, and hypocritical?
In the midst of all this brouhaha surrounding “Blackface-gate,” Hanks has lent his everyman’s voice to narrate President Barack Obama‘s re-election documentary, “The Road We’ve Traveled.” Seemingly timed just right, Hanks released his apology, after the documentary was released.
The beloved Hollywood “do-no-wrong” actor addresses the controversy in a statement to the Daily Caller:
“In 2004, 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.”
I have to wonder why it took so long for Hanks to realize the misstep of his ways. It is never acceptable for any White person to wear a blackface. At its root, blackface has always been about mocking the race of people who built this country. How could a man as supposedly erudite as Hanks find humor in a stereotype that is so disrespectful to a race of people?
What do you think? Is Tom Hanks a racist or merely a well-intentioned White man who acted with bias and just didn’t realize it?