Sarah Silverman reveals she was once fired for wearing ‘blackface’ on old TV show
An old racist photo from ‘The Sarah Silverman Program’ caused Sarah Silverman to get canned. Silverman revealed how the termination played out on ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast.’
Comedian Sarah Silverman admitted that she was able to get away with offensive jokes during her career simply because being a liberal allows her to say “words that are unsayable” to people with other political views.
“There are a lot of problematic things looking back, but such is comedy. It’s not evergreen,” Silverman said on the “SmartLess” podcast, which is hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.
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The provocative Silverman has told jokes mocking everything from religion to rape throughout her career. She also wore blackface during a sketch from her 2007 TV show, “The Sarah Silverman Program".
Hayes noted that Silverman avoided controversy over some of her edgier material, while other comedians would have landed in hot water with similar jokes.
“I think it’s the intention behind it… I always said the opposite of what I thought and that was the joke kind of, but hopefully the truth transcends that I don’t really feel this way,” she said.
“That comedy I did, you’re right, it was like, ‘Oh it’s OK because you know I don’t mean it,’” Silverman continued. “But then it also is kind of like, ‘We’re liberal, so we can say anything. We can say, you know, the words that are unsayable. You know I don’t mean it, so I can say it.’ There is kind of a liberal douchiness about it, I think, in retrospect. I mean, I don’t know, it’s a weird balance.”
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Arnett agreed and essentially blamed “everyone who is not liberal” for ruining modern comedy.
“Everyone who is not liberal is so serious and so dark and so real about their negativity or hate or racism, whatever it is, that it’s taken all of that away,” Arnett said. “I don’t even want to joke about a lot of things that are rough or maybe pushing boundaries because you feel like, ‘I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way because there are so many people who mean it.’”
Silverman frequently discusses her old material and how she would never make the same kind of jokes today that she did when she was just starting out — including the blackface sketch for her TV series.
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She revealed on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” earlier this year that she was once fired from a movie because of the blackface skit.
“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 said.
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