New video footage obtained by The Daily Caller indicates that movie star Tom Hanks was less than truthful when he claimed he was “blindsided” for “an appalling few moments” when a white man in blackface makeup joined him for part of a 2004 fundraising auction that benefited his children’s school. The man, investment banker Jamie Montgomery, also wore a costume including a giant Afro wig and a leopard-print toga.
The Daily Caller first reported on the incident on March 20 with video footage showing Hanks and “The Eagles” musician Glenn Frey sharing jokes and banter with Montgomery, whose children also attended the school, despite his racially insensitive costume and makeup.
Later on March 20, in a statement forwarded to TheDC by his publicist, Hanks denounced the presence of the blackface-wearing Montgomery, claiming he 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,” Hanks added.
But additional footage from the 2004 event, obtained exclusively by TheDC, shows Montgomery in full view of Hanks beginning approximately ten minutes before he joined Hanks at the microphone to introduce the auction’s final item: a giant stuffed gorilla holding a “dowry” of 5,000 shares in a pharmaceutical company.
One portion of the video shows Montgomery, in full costume, slow-dancing with an unknown party guest between the dinner and the auction. Another was shot from behind Hanks as he begins the auction. It shows Montgomery, the most visible person standing amid a sea of seated guests, clearly in Hanks’ line of sight.
In a third excerpt, Hanks is mere feet away from the blackfaced and wigged Montgomery as he awards an auction item to a bidder.
All three camera shots were recorded before the moments depicted in the video TheDC published on March 20 — which showed the moments when Hanks later said he was “blindsided.”
Congress of Racial Equality spokesperson Niger Innis has called on President Obama to remove Hanks’ narration from “The Road We’ve Traveled,” his 2012 re-election campaign film. Innis called the incident “an orchestrated, heinous, and racist ‘Stepin Fetchit’ routine that Mr. Hanks was a part of.”
“I call upon President Obama, who has Tom Hanks doing the narration to his campaign video, to cease, to remove Mr. Hanks’ voice-over from his video, and end any association or affiliation with Mr. Hanks,” Innis told TheDC.