Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Who need context in the age of offence taking? American comic Sarah Silverman told listeners to The Bill Simmons Podcast about how the knowing came for her. She once posed in blackface on The Sarah Silverman Show. She might be a victim of “offence archaeology”: digging into someone past in the hope of finding evidence of wrong thinking. It matters not a jot what happened in the intervening years. The offence is an indelible stain.
“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part, then, at 11pm the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode… I think it’s really scary and it’s a very odd thing that its invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it…
“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.'”
Context be damned:
“It was like, I’m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. I’m clearly liberal. 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 any more. It makes me feel yucky. All I can say is that I’m not that person any more… There’s a still of me on Twitter in blackface and it’s totally out of context and I tweeted it when Twitter was new and the people who followed me watched that show and it was from that show,” she said. “Now it’s forever there and it looks … it’s totally racist out of context and I regret that.”
Everyone, stay in your lane or else.