Sarah Silverman becomes the next famous celebrity to lose face in public for something done years ago. While she didn’t say what movie, she recently revealed that she was fired from a role the night before filming was to take place. The reason?
A comedy sketch from the second season of her show, which aired in 2007, that depicted Silverman in blackface.
Sarah said she shared a still from the sketch on Twitter when it was “still new”, but now after ten years it looks “totally racist out of context”, and she regrets ever putting it out there.
At the time, Silverman says that she felt she was fighting racism by using racist tactics, and that she was doing good work. She also says that the sketch is a big reason she gained such popularity back then, helping her career take off to new levels.
Silverman also addressed the sketch directly in 2018 while doing an interview with GQ. She says that she doesn’t “stand by” the blackface sketch and that it makes her feel “yucky” to talk about it.
She added, however, that if as a comedian you don’t look back at your past work and feel horrified at what you’ve done, you’re not “doing it right”. “Comedy by nature is not all evergreen.”
On The Bill Simmons Podcast, where she talked about losing out on the role, she said that she found the whole idea of derailing someone’s career based on what they did or said years ago “really scary”.
Sarah has long stuck up for others who were in the same position, including Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., and Al Franken, who were recently under the spotlight for their questionable sexual conduct.
She called it a “perversion” and likened it to an obsession that some have to find buried mistakes and splash them across the media for public attention. The goal, she says, is “how many likes” they can get in their “righteousness”.
James Gunn is the most recent example to come out of Hollywood, and perhaps the biggest. He was fired by Disney after a tweet over a decade old came to light, despite him having already apologized for it and promised that he had learned from his past mistakes.
Disney ended up rehiring him for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but it still goes to show you how the past can really catch up to celebrities now that nothing is truly gone from the internet forever.
Sarah ended the conversation by stating that she wasn’t “that kind of person” anymore and that she has learned from her past mistakes. She can’t change it but wishes to “make up for it” as she continues her career in comedy.
Silverman continues to be relatively quiet about her personal life. She broke up with her long-time boyfriend Michael Sheen last year and has not been rumored to be seeing anyone else.
The 48-year-old comedian has also been open about her mental health struggles, and once talked about trying new depression meds after suffering an addiction to Xanax. She also has said in the past that she doesn’t want to have children of her own for fear they would inherit her depression.