Comedian Sarah Silverman said she was fired from a potential movie role because of a controversial 2007 sketch on The Sarah Silverman Program in which she wore blackface. Silverman has talked about the sketch in the past, and once said she was "horrified" by it.
In a new interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Silverman said the was fired the night before she was supposed to start filming on the movie.
"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, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
The Wreck-It Ralph star said did not say what the project was, but noted the producers hired someone else and she agreed with their decision.
"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 said.
Last year, Silverman tried to distance herself from the blackface sketch.
“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,” Silverman told GQ. “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.”
In her interview with Simmons, Silverman discussed the "canceled culture," which has made comedy a "dangerous place," especially for anyone with mistakes in their pasts. She also described the current climate "righteousness porn.
"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, later adding, "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.'"
Silverman expressed sympathy for those who have been "cancelled" by the public. She pointed to Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who is now a peace advocate and appeared on her Hulu show I Love You, America.
"He's changed," she told Simmons. "Someone had to see the possibility of change in him."
Despite Silverman's controversies in the past, she has worked on family-friendly projects. The two-time Emmy winner voiced Vanellope in Disney's Wreck-It Ralph movies in 2012 and 2018. More recently, she hosted I Love You, America, which was nominated for the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series in 2018 and 2019.