Sarah Silverman lost a movie role because of a 'blackface' comedy sketch

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Sarah Silverman arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Comedian and actor Sarah Silverman has admitted she recently lost out on a big movie part as a result of a sketch from 2007 in which she wore blackface.

The Wreck-it Ralph actor revealed she learned of her sacking at 11pm on the evening before she was due to start filming on the project.

Silverman said last year that she was “horrified” by the sketch in question, from The Sarah Silverman Program, in which she wore minstrel-like make-up and proclaimed “I’m black today” after comparing herself to Queen Latifah.

She now admits the sketch was not appropriate and said she feels “sad” that it affected her in this case.

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“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part,” said the 48-year-old on The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Sarah Silverman appeared in blackface during a 2007 episode of 'The Sarah Silverman Program'. (Credit: Comedy Central)

“Then at 11pm the night before they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode. 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.”

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Silverman described the blackface skit as “such liberal-bubble stuff” in a 2018 interview with GQ.

“I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism,” she added.

“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.”

In the podcast interview, Silverman said that, although she does not defend the blackface sketch, “cancel culture” has made comedy a “dangerous place”.

US comedian Sarah Silverman attends For Your Consideration Red Carpet Event for The Showtime Series "Who is America" on May 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

She said: “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.

“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.”

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From the earliest parts of her career, Silverman has been known for her boundary-pushing comedy.

She has since starred in films including School of Rock and Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping, as well as her role as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz in the Wreck-it Ralph movies.