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Howard Stern Responds to Backlash Over Resurfaced Video of Him in Blackface, Using N-Word

Howard Stern blackface
Ben Hider/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Howard Stern has addressed his use of blackface and the N-word in a New Year’s Eve special in 1993.

The video was brought back to light by Donald Trump Jr., who retweeted the clip of the performance, originally posted by filmmaker Tariq Nasheed. The president’s son and Stern had been in a public spat since the radio personality criticized President Donald Trump for mishandling the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The performance parodies an incident in 1993, when Ted Danson dressed in blackface for a Friars Club roast dedicated to his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg; Stern was playing Danson, with Sherman Hemsley playing Goldberg. The radio host used the N-word liberally in the sketch. Stern, as Danson, defended himself to his shocked audience by saying, “Whoopi wrote that.”

Stern acknowledged the video on his SiriusXM program “The Howard Stern Show” on Monday morning, saying the performance was not atypical for his comedic brand at the time, but that he’s also evolved beyond such controversial material.

“The s— I did was f—ing crazy,” Stern said. “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 seem to think I was against them, too. Everybody had a bone to pick with me.”

Stern said he wouldn’t repeat the mistake now.