Tom Hanks Calls Blackface Video 'Hideously Offensive'
The actor says he was "blindsided" during a fundraiser when he was joined onstage by a man dressed in blackface and an Afro wig.
Tom Hanks has responded to Tuesday's release of video from 2004 of him performing alongside a man dressed in blackface and sporting an Afro wig and leopard-print toga, acknowledging that parts of the event were "hideously offensive" and "appalling."
Hanks was the emcee, along with Eagles rocker Glenn Frey, at a school fundraiser, and video of the occasion was posted online Tuesday by the Daily Caller, which attempted to draw comparisons with Hanks' performance there to his narration of a President Barack Obama re-election video.
The fundraiser for St. Matthew's Parish School in Pacific Palisades featured an auction of pre-IPO stock donated by a wealthy parent who, according to Hanks, "blindsided" him by showing up in a racially insensitive costume.
"For many years I emceed the annual fundraising auction for my kids' school," Hanks said in an e-mail to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. "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."