Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was the subject of internet backlash back in September when he conducted a friendly interview with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The segment drew criticism for being too playful and forgiving of Trump. People were especially mad about the part where Fallon ruffled his fingers through Trump's hair.
In a new profile by the New York Times, Fallon opened up about the aftermath of his now infamous interview, saying he was "devastated" by some of the things people were saying about him.
"I'm a people pleaser," Fallon continued. "If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun."
Fallon was widely accused of helping to normalize an extremist candidate. However, he insists that he didn't play with Trump's hair in order to "humanize" him, as critics were saying. "I almost did it to minimize him," Fallon told the New York Times. "I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.'"
Though Fallon acknowledges that the interview was a setback, he never addressed it on his show. He told the New York Times, he now feels he should have said something about the controversy.
“I didn’t talk about it, and I should have talked about it,” he said. “I regret that.”
You can read the New York Times' full profile on Fallon here.