Sarah Silverman considers Kathryn Hahn playing Joan Rivers to be 'Jewface'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sarah Silverman has claimed Kathryn Hahn playing Joan Rivers in a new TV series is akin to "Jewface".

During the latest episode of her podcast, the comedy star tackled the topic of Hollywood casting agents regularly selecting non-Jewish actors to portray Jewish characters.

"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.'

"Jewface... (it) doesn't feel good to say...is defined as when a non-Jew portrays a Jew with the Jewishness front and centre, often with make-up 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 centre, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?"

Silverman went on to insist that Hahn, who was raised Catholic, didn't do anything wrong in taking on the lead role in upcoming limited series The Comeback Girl, and she understands that "acting is acting".

"Kathryn Hahn did absolutely nothing wrong. She's a brilliant actor and she will be great as Joan, and singularly, I have zero problem with it," she continued, before listing other examples of non-Jewish women playing Jewish people or characters, such as Felicity Jones portraying Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the On the Basis of Sex and Rachel Brosnahan taking on the part of Miriam Maisel in TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

And while Silverman admitted she doesn't "have all the answers", she is adamant it is time for more representation in Hollywood.

"It has to also finally matter for Jews as well. Especially Jewish women," she added.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting