Funny girl Sarah Silverman just confessed that she got blowback from wearing blackface for a comedy sketch for her now cancelled show—and it cost her a role in an upcoming film.
Silverman revealed on The Bill Simmons Podcast that back in 2007, on The Sarah Silverman Program, she wore blackface and regrets it. And she’s now feeling the backlash over that decision.
“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part, then at 11 p.m. the night before they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode. I didn’t fight it,” Silverman admitted to Simmons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
But Silverman said the reality of that choice stung, while using the moment to shade the person who replaced her.
“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.”
Silverman criticized the corrective nature of comedy culture now, calling it a “dangerous place” for comedians who have erred in the past with questionable material.
“I think it’s really scary and it’s a very odd thing that it’s invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it,” Silverman said.
She added: “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. 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.'”
“It’s OK to go, ‘Wow, look at this back then. That was so fucked up looking at it in the light of today of what we know,’ but to hold that person accountable if they’ve changed with the times, like for me … I held myself accountable. I can’t erase that I did that, but I can only be changed forever and do what I can to make it right for the rest of my life,” she said.
Silverman said a comedian shouldn’t be defined by their jokes of the past.
“If I look back on my old self and don’t cringe, there’s something wrong. Because if you’re putting yourself out there, it’s not going to be timeless,” she said.