Sarah Silverman: Old Blackface Sketch Cost Me a Role

She says she was recently fired from a film over the 2007 incident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2019 12:55 PM CDT
Sarah Silverman: I Lost Movie Role Over Blackface
Moderator Sarah Silverman poses before an Emmy For Your Consideration event for the Showtime series "Who Is America?" at Paramount Studios, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Sarah Silverman donned blackface years ago for a sketch on her old show (a move she no longer stands by), and the comedian revealed on a recent episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast that she was recently fired from a film over the 2007 incident. "At 11pm the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode," she said, per the Guardian. "I didn’t fight it. They hired someone else who is wonderful but who has never stuck their neck out. It was so disheartening. It just made me real, real sad, because I really kind of devoted my life to making it right." (She didn't name the movie.) But she also talked about her regret over the sketch, per CNN: "There was so much I didn't know" at the time, she said: "I didn't know that cops were killing black people and unarmed black teenagers on the regular, and that changed me forever."

She added that it's a scary time to be working in the industry thanks to "cancel culture," in which past mistakes impact a person's current career. "It’s like, if you’re not on board, if you say the wrong thing, if you had a tweet once, everyone is, like, throwing the first stone," she said. "It’s so odd. It’s a perversion. It’s really, 'Look how righteous I am and now I’m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness,'" she said, adding that there's a lot more than just blackface for her to worry about: "On my show, the Sarah Silverman Program, which I love, there's so much problematic from that show. I mean it's brutal." Conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro was on Silverman's side, tweeting of the blackface news: "This is absurd. The make-up was for a skit about the comparative challenges of being black and Jewish." (More Sarah Silverman stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.