Sarah Silverman says Hollywood has an issue with ‘Jewface’

Comedian Sarah Silverman says Hollywood has a tendency to cast non-Jewish actors and actresses for Jewish roles.

Silverman, 50, called the practice “Jewface” on an episode of her podcast Thursday. She pointed to Catholic actress Kathryn Hahn being cast to play the late Joan Rivers, who was Jewish, in an upcoming show. She also cited Felicity Jones playing former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, among other examples.

“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 said. “One could argue, for instance, that a Gentile playing Joan Rivers correctly would be doing what is actually called ‘Jewface.’”

“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,” she added.

“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 argued female Jewish characters who are “courageous or [deserve] love” are “never played by a Jew.”

She also pointed to common antisemitic themes such as “Jews run Hollywood” and “Jews are rich” as tropes that render “people very righteously unsympathetic toward Jews.”

Original Article: Sarah Silverman says Hollywood has an issue with ‘Jewface’ (

3 thoughts on “Sarah Silverman says Hollywood has an issue with ‘Jewface’

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  1. I agree with Silverman. Not only has she been passed over, but there are castings I’ve noticed where the actress/actor played Jewface. As a whole, all Jews are not rich. They are hard workers, diligent, and obedient to their faith. (*note – I was raised in a Jewish foster home, I learned the prayers, lifestyle, diet, and most of all the diligence of staying faithful and observing that the teachers/grandparents had tattoos on their forearms. I learned much living there during my unwed pregnancy in 1964, So. St. Paul, MN). I am not Jewish, but my heart lives within their struggles, and somehow I thrive on it despite the hatred I see around me. There is no way to deny God’s Leadership and Guidance within their faith/religion. The home I lived in had several children, devout Jew observances, (I had my own plate and silverware), kind, understanding, and I never witnessed a moment of doubt, anger, aggression, or haughtiness. It was the best years of my life, I learned so much, read my Bible, asked questions and got answers, and most of all, became a member of God’s family – WITH the Jews. Shalom.

  2. I can’t stand Silverman. I think most of her problems is her mouth. I am so sick of everyone blaming everything on their race, always poor me. I don’t have a problem with any race and I don’t know people who do. This is what democrats have accomplished dividing everyone into categories, then pit them against each other so every time you don’t get what you want it’s because of your race.

    1. I’m with you! She’s about as annoying as they come, and it has nothing to do with her race OR face.

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