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Sarah Silverman reveals she was just recently fired from a movie over 2007 blackface sketch

Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Sarah Silverman’s never hesitated to speak openly and empathetically about the heated debates swirling around some of her closest pals, namely Al Franken and Louis C.K. She’s also confronted her own controversies head-on, having publicly condemned a 2007 episode of The Sarah Silverman Program in which she wore blackface. “I don’t stand by the blackface sketch,” she told GQ last year. “I’m horrified by it, and I can’t erase it. I can only be changed by it and move on...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.”

It appears, however, that the instance is still impacting her career. During a new interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast (via Indiewire), Silverman revealed that she was just recently fired from a film due to the episode. “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,” she said. “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.”


Silverman went on to speak about those online who revel in bringing up a person’s past mistakes. “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.’”

Silverman spoke about a similar issue last year, citing how she was piled on by “personal friends” and others for tweeting positively about the Roseanne reboot. She’s also engaged directly with her trolls, even going so far as to cover the medical costs of one who opened up to her after she replied to an abusive slur they hurled her way.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.