Late night host Jimmy Fallon shared an emotional response about the events that took place on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia (video below).
Fallon spoke out about the actions of white supremacists who violently rallied in the city, resulting in the death of 32-year-old counter protester Heather Heyer, according to USA Today. Fallon took time from his late-night show to condemn the hate groups that organized the event.
“Even though ‘The Tonight Show’ isn’t a political show, it’s my responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being,” Fallon said. “What happened…in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting. I was watching the news like everyone else, and you’re seeing Nazi flags and torches and white supremacists, and I was sick to my stomach.”
He also talked about the difficulties of discussing hate with young children as a parent.
“My daughters are in the next room playing, and I’m thinking, how can I explain to them that there’s so much hatred in this world?” asked Fallon. “They’re two years old and four years old. They don’t know what hate means.”
Fallon added that President Donald Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville came too late, Jezebel reports.
“The fact that it took the President two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful,” said the “Tonight Show” host. “And I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something.”
“It’s important for everyone — especially white people — in this country to speak out against this,” Fallon added. “Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it.”
“And remember: there are people who have given their lives to make sure this kind of hate doesn’t spread,” he said. “They’ve fought and died on the right side of history. One brave woman in Charlottesville, Heather Heyer, died standing up for what’s right at the age of 32.”
“I can’t look at my beautiful, growing, curious daughters and say nothing when this kind of thing is happening,” said Fallon. “We all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists, and stand up for what is right, and civil, and kind. And to show the next generation that we haven’t forgotten how hard people have fought for human rights. We cannot do this. We can’t go backward. We can’t go backward.”
Fallon had previously been criticized for an interview with Trump in September, where he joked and ruffled the presidential candidate’s hair, Time reports.
“They have a right to be mad,” Fallon said of the backlash in May. “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”
Late night show host Seth Meyers also commented on the president’s response to Charlottesville, with an even more scathing condemnation of Trump’s comments. Meyers particularly took issue with Trump’s statement condemning “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
“On many sides,” Meyers repeated. “If that choice of words made you feel sick to your stomach, the good news is you’re a normal and decent person. The jury is still out on the president as he initially refused to condemn the white supremacist movement in this country.”
“The leader of our country is called the president because he’s supposed to preside over our society,” Meyers said. “His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us.”
“And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he is not a president,” added Meyers.