Sarah Silverman Says She Was Recently Fired from a Movie Over 2007 Blackface Sketch
"It just made me real, real sad, because I've really kind of devoted my life to making it right," the comedian said
An old episode of Sarah Silverman’s Comedy Central show recently cost her a part in a movie, the comedian claims.
Appearing on the Aug. 8 episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Silverman reflected on “Face Wars,” a 2007 episode of The Sarah Silverman Program in which she wore blackface. (In the episode, she and Alex Désert switch races to determine whether it’s harder to be Jewish or black.)
“I recently was going to do a movie — two days on a movie, a really sweet part in a cool little movie,” she said. “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, 48, said that though she understood the film executives’ decision, she’s “not that person anymore.”
“You know, I didn’t go to a f—ing Halloween party in the ’80s in blackface,” she said. “I was doing an episode about race. But now I understand, it’s never okay.”
“So they hired someone else who is wonderful but who has never stuck their neck out,” she continued. “It was so disheartening. It just made me real, real sad, because I’ve really kind of devoted my life to making it right, you know?”
Silverman said she’s held herself accountable for the mistake.
“I can’t erase that I did that, I can only be changed forever and do what I can to make it right for the rest of my life,” she said. “If I look back on my old stuff and don’t cringe, there’s something wrong. Because if you’re putting yourself out there, it’s not going to be timeless. It’s just not.”
“There was so much I didn’t know,” she continued. “I knew there was racism, I knew that there was. I wanted to illuminate that in some way in comedy, but I didn’t know that cops were killing black people, unarmed black teenagers on the regular. That changed me forever.”
It’s not the first time the comedian has expressed regret over the infamous sketch. In 2015, she told a caller on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that it was her most regrettable joke.
“It’s forever there and it looks [like] it’s totally racist out of context, and I regret that,” she said. “But there’s nothing I can do about that.”
“It made me famous! It was like, I’m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. I’m clearly liberal,” she said. “That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism. I don’t get joy in that anymore. It makes me feel yucky. All I can say is that I’m not that person anymore.”