Sarah Silverman dropped from movie after blackface sketch: 'I didn't fight it'

Sarah Silverman is the latest celebrity to weigh in on "canceled culture," revealing even she isn't immune to career repercussions for past mistakes. Speaking on The Bill Simmons Podcast, the outspoken comedian admitted she was recently dropped from a film after a photo of her in blackface resurfaced online. In 2007, Silverman dressed up in blackface for a sketch on Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Sarah Silverman arrives at the premiere party for the OBB Pictures and Netflix Original Series "Historical Roasts" featuring Jeff Ross at Landmark Theatre on May 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

"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 recalled. "I didn’t fight it."

While she understood, Silverman admitted the decision was "disheartening" because she isn't that person anymore.

"They hired someone else who is wonderful but who has never stuck their neck out. It was so disheartening," she continued. "It just made me real real sad, because I really kind of devoted my life to making it right."

She added, "You know, I didn’t go to a f***ing Halloween party in the ’80s in blackface. I was doing an episode about race. But now I understand, it’s never OK."

In February, Nick Cannon drew attention to the blackface sketch again while also calling out Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.

Silverman has apologized for the sketch many times over the past few years. In 2018, she told GQ, "I'm not that person anymore.

"Comedy by nature is not at all evergreen. So if you're doing it right, you look back at your old stuff and you're horrified," she explained. "I don't stand by the blackface sketch. I'm horrified by it, and I can't erase it. I can only be changed by it and move on."

Silverman was asked if she enjoyed getting away with "a lot of the jokes" she had performed.

"I was praised for it! 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 replied. "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."

On The Bill Simmons Podcast, Silverman and Simmons discussed "canceled culture" and its "dangerous" effect on comedians who have made missteps along the way.

"I think it's really scary and it's a very odd thing that it's invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it," Silverman said, calling the current climate "righteousness porn."

Silverman added, "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. 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.'"

"It's OK to go, 'Wow, look at this back then. That was so f***ed up looking at it in the light of today of what we know,' but to hold that person accountable if they've changed with the times, like for me ... I held myself accountable," she continued. "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."

"Comedy is evergreen," she said. "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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