Howard Stern has become the latest in a long list of celebrities and power players to be forced to confront their use of blackface.
On Thursday a video appeared online showing Stern in minstrel-style makeup, liberally using the N-word. It was cut together with a recent appearance on “The View” during which he claimed he’d never used that word.
Sources tell Page Six that the clip – a skit that seemed to take aim at Ted Danson’s infamous 1993 blackface performance with then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg – was part of Stern’s “New Year’s Rotten Eve Pageant,” which aired on pay-per-view. December 31 that year.
In the video he plays Danson, and addresses his long-time black sidekick Robin Quivers, making corny and highly racist jokes, such as, “What do you call a black rocket scientist ?,” the punchline to which is the N-word.
When his audience seemed shocked by the language, Stern defends himself by saying, “Whoopi wrote it!” Then he calls Quivers a “smelly” N-word, and again excuses himself by saying, “Whoopi wrote that.”
The point of the skit seems to be that Danson used Goldberg’s apparent blessing of his behavior as a license to be freely racist.
Longtime Stern employee Steve Grillo of the Aftershock XL podcast network – who worked on the special – told Page Six that he believed Stern was racist and that he never used that off-air language. He said that because the show was on pay-per-view, and governed by Stern’s longtime nemesis the FCC, their attitude was, “I’ve got the whole world watching – you’re pushing the limits.” He added, “The leash was off and they were going to be rabid dogs.”
The clip was first posted by controversial filmmaker Tariq Nasheed and bubbled up among right-wing Twitter users – possibly because Stern recently came out against President Trump – and was eventually retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.
A rep for Stern sale gets back to us.