A Black New Jersey man wearing blackface to Sarah Silverman’s comedy show ended up in the hospital after being kicked out of the venue.
The 71-year-old shared his ejection by security on Instagram claiming he was only peacefully protesting the comedian’s past racist skit.
“Here I am at Ovation Hall in Atlantic City to see the Sarah Silverman show. You see I’m front row, it should be a good show,” Michael B. Jackson said in his Instagram post.
Silverman, who has been on a comedy tour, rolled into Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4 at the Ocean Resort Casino. Among the crowd sat Jackson who arrived with his face painted in black makeup. He wore white lipstick and had a hairpiece with two long black hair braids draped down to his chest. He completed his look with a red bandana tied on top of his head.
Jackson claimed he was peacefully protesting Silverman’s 2007 comedy skit where she wore blackface.
During the comedian’s 16-year-old sketch, she wore black face paint with a red and white patterned head scarf. The skit was created to see if it is more difficult to be a Black person or a Jewish person.
“I look like the beautiful Queen Latifah,’ Silverman said wearing blackface.
Her skit goes on to show her walking appearing despondent while saying, “I had no idea how cruel white people can be to us.”
Her skit then transitions to show her inside a Black church surrounded by Black choir members. She says while chuckling, “I’m sorry, I’m Black today.”
The skit ends with her being arrested by a white police officer where she asks, “You have a problem with me being Black officer?” The officer replies by saying, “Yeah it’s revolting and completely over the line,” as Silverman is handcuffed and placed into a police car.
Jackson sat in the front row at the show. At the beginning of one of the opening acts, comedian Rory Albanese noticed Jackson’s peaceful protest and drew attention to him. Minutes later, security and police came to where Jackson was sitting and asked him to move to a seat further away from the stage.
“Management wants you to leave, Sir,” the officer told Jackson.
“I’m going to sit here, I paid for a ticket,” Jackson replied.
The officer told Jackson he could sit in another area, and as the officer grabs Jackson, the 71-year-old is heard telling the officer to get off of him.
“This is one of her characters, why is it bad? She had it on one of her TV shows,” Jackson said.
The New York Post reported Jackson was cited for trespassing and eventually escorted out of the building.
Jackson later claimed he was attacked and roughed up. He shared a photo of him lying on a hospital gurney still wearing the black paint. TMZ reported Jackson requested medical attention for anxiety.
Silverman reportedly responded to the incident later in the show claiming she’d never do a blackface sketch today and would have “apologized to Jackson” if he was still in the audience, The New York Post added.
Silverman’s blackface sketch brought the comedian grief in the past as she was fired from a movie. She told Bill Simmons on a podcast, “I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part.”
“It was so disheartening. It just made me real, real sad, because I really kind of devoted my life to making it right,” Silverman continued.
Her 2007 sketch continues to haunt her as she recently as Valentine’s Day when she guest hosted “The Daily Show.” As the comedian mocked Republicans, slammed Kanye West and praised Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance to the delight of some viewers, not everyone is fully sold on Silverman with her own controversial past.
“Definitely skipping this week of #TheDailyShow. Not a Sarah Silverman fan. AT ALL. I have zero interest in watching white women say they look like “the beautiful Queen Latifah” by wearing blackface. And she is not funny regardless,” Shamontiel wrote on Twitter.
Raven Walker said on Facebook, “Just a reminder to #TheDailyShow, Sarah Silverman did blackface, on film, for a televised sketch show, sang the N word with the hard ER as a ‘joke’ for a Televised show, among other things you can Google. She’s hosting, this week, in Black History Month.”
Atlanta Black Star reached out to Jackson for additional comment, but our requests were not immediately returned.