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Tom Hanks Speaks Out About 'Hideously Offensive' Blackface Video

Wonderwall, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 8:37am (PDT)
  • Conservatives are denouncing Tom Hanks and Eagles co-founder Glenn Fry for their participation in what is being called a "racially insensitive" segment of video taken at a 2004 fundraiser for the school that Hanks and Fry's kids attended at the time of the event, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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    In the video, which appeared on The Daily Caller on Tuesday, Hanks and Fry are seen at an event for St. Matthew's Parish School in California, cracking jokes that poke fun at the school and take digs at right-wingers, including Jerry Falwell.

    Meanwhile, another man onstage with them -- wearing blackface, a toga and an Afro wig -- provides the impetus for quips like Frey's would-be zinger about the man in the Afro, "This is as close to diversity as we'll get at St. Matthew's."

    Hanks continues to play along with the skit, a sort of backwards attempt at satirizing the conservative presence at the school.

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    Once the video surfaced, it wasn't long before Niger Innis, a spokesperson for the conservative organization, the Congress of Racial Equality, demanded that President Obama "remove Mr. Hanks' voice-over from his [campaign] video and end any association or affiliation with Mr. Hanks," according to The Daily Caller, which also leans to the right in its political stances.

    As The Hollywood Reporter points out, other conservative bloggers soon joined the anti-Hanks bandwagon, with writers like Breitbart.com's John Nolte posting, "I don't care what your politics are, it's nauseatingly racist."

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    In a statement issued Tuesday, Hanks said: "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."

    WATCH THE VIDEO: Tom Hanks, Glenn Fry in 2004 Racial Shocker

    GossipCop reports that the man in blackface, a banker named James Montgomery, has not yet commented as of Wednesday.

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