Sarah Silverman Calls Out Hollywood’s ‘Jewface’ Problem: ‘Representation F**king Matters’

News arrived September 21 that Kathryn Hahn is about to play Joan Rivers in an upcoming Showtime restricted collection. While followers rejoiced for the “WandaVision” Emmy nominee on social media, Sarah Silverman mentioned on the most up-to-date episode of her self-titled podcast (by way of Page Six) that Hahn’s casting is just the most recent instance of Hollywood’s “Jewface” downside. Silverman is referring to the observe of casting non-Jews in Jewish roles.

“There’s this long tradition of non-Jews playing Jews, and not just playing people who happen to be Jewish but people whose Jewishness is their whole being,” Silverman mentioned. “One could argue, for instance, that a Gentile [a non-Jew] playing Joan Rivers correctly would be doing what is actually called ‘Jewface.’”

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Silverman continued, “It’s defined as when a non-Jew portrays a Jew with the Jewishness front and center, often with makeup or changing of features, big fake nose, all the New York-y or Yiddish-y inflection. And in a time when the importance of representation is seen as so essential and so front and center, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?”

Silverman’s different examples of “Jewface” in Hollywood embrace Felicity Jones enjoying Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“On the Basis of Sex”), Rachel Brosnahan enjoying Miriam Maisel (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Margo Martindale enjoying Bella Abzug (“Mrs. America”), and Tracey Ullman enjoying Betty Friedan (“Mrs. America”). The comic burdened that none of those actors are “doing anything wrong” by enjoying Jewish characters, however such recurring casting is “fucked up.”

“Right now, representation fucking matters,” Silverman added. “It has to also finally matter for Jews as well. Especially Jewish women.”

Silverman additionally famous that when a Jewish feminine character is “courageous or deserves love, she is never played by a Jew.” The comic pointed to anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of “Jews run Hollywood” as “rendering people very righteously unsympathetic toward Jews.”

Silverman most just lately appeared in a small supporting position in Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which opened in theaters and HBO Max this summer season. She’ll subsequent seem reverse Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson within the romantic-comedy “Marry Me.” Listen to Silverman’s full podcast episode on “Jewface” right here.

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