A Virginia councilman who apologized and deleted a photo of himself in blackface later defended the picture as his “freedom of expression,” NBC 12 reported.
Virginia Warsaw Councilman Faron Hamblin first apologized for posing in blackface as Randy Watson, one of Eddie Murphy’s iconic characters from Coming to America.
“In honor of my late friend, I went out as the legendary Randy Watson tonight,” he said. “Give it up for my band Sexual Chocolate.”
Over the weekend, Hamblin shared the image and his post immediately sparked outrage. After the blowback, Hamblin responded with an apology.
“Folks I made a post of me dressed like the movie character Randy Watson,” his apology read. “For those of you who know the movie, Randy is a Black man. So I dressed the part. Suit, hair and yes my makeup was brown. Many saw it degrading, which I did not. I did it to show my love for the character and the movie. But since I’m white it’s considered by some as offensive to dress as a Black person.”
Later, he defended the idea, comparing his situation with Murphy who played the role of a Jewish man in the classic comedy.
“In the movie, Eddie Murphy portrayed a white Jewish man and it was funny as hell,” Hamblin wrote in a screenshot. “I can’t speak for the Jewish community and I’m sure some were offended. But Eddie showed his freedom of expression. He never meant any ill harm to the Jewish community.”
Hamblin also likened himself to comic Dave Chappelle who has been heavily criticized for his Netflix special, The Closer by the LGBTQ community as EBONY previously reported.
“Like Eddie, or Dave Chappelle, I don’t go around walking on eggshells, worried about hurting someone’s feelings, ” he continued. “But I never intended for this to be a racist issue.”
Hamblin added that his post “hurt a lot of folks and that was not my intention.”
“I try to be a good person and help others regardless of who they are,” he continued. “I’m here’s to say I love everyone on this planet, we should all feel the same.”