Former Saturday Night Live actor Melanie Hutsell is speaking out after Mayim Bialik called out an SNLsketch in which Hutsell used a prosthetic nose to portray Bialik's '90s titular teen character Blossom.
Bialik recently opened up about the sketch in an essay for Variety.
"The actress portraying me was dancing and mugging for the camera and she was hilarious. But. She wore a prosthetic nose. In order to truly convey that she was “Blossom,” she wore a fake, big nose."
"I don’t know if it was significantly larger than my real nose and I don’t care to remember. I remember that it struck me as odd. And it confused me."
"No one else on the show was parodied for their features. In MAD magazine, everyone is caricatured, but in this rendition of parody, it was just me that was singled out. More specifically, it was my nose."
She also said she felt ashamed because she knew all of her high school friends would see the sketch.
I never thought to talk about it and mostly I tried to forget it. I hoped no one noticed. All of my friends at high school watched 'SNL.' It wasn’t subtle. They would all see it and I felt ashamed."
After the essay came out, Melanie Hutsell, the SNL alum who portrayed Blossom in the sketch, revealed to Entertainment Weekly that she was "absolutely horrified" to have worn the prosthetic piece but was told that she would be fired if she refused.
The statement began:
“When we were preparing to do that sketch all those years ago, I was absolutely horrified that they wanted me to wear a prosthetic nose to play Mayim Bialik’s character, Blossom."
“I remember so clearly that when I expressed that I did not want to wear the prosthetic nose for the sketch, I was told if I refused, I would be fired."
“And keep in mind, many of the people who had a hand in creating the sketch were Jewish. Although I had and have always had a strong moral compass, I didn’t have the strength to refuse to do the sketch after I was told I would be fired.”
Hutsell said she wished she had refused.
“If I could go back and change history, I would have refused to wear the prosthetic nose and taken the risk of losing my job."
“That would have been the right thing to do.”
People on social media commended Hutsell for speaking out on the matter and voicing her regret.
Others expressed anger over Hutsell being forced to wear the prosthetic in the first place.
And some weren't sure they believed Hutsell's statement.
One person who did believe her was Bialik herself.
The Jeopardyhost took to social media to thank Hutsell for her apology, writing:
"Thank you Melanie Hutsell for this - I did not intend to disparage you or SNL and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness around this! It made for an interesting essay (which I was asked to write many months ago on the topic of antisemitism) and with everything going on in the world, I’m virtually hugging you and appreciate you very much!"
In her statement, Hutsell noted that she apologized to Bialik in person about a decade after the sketch aired.
"The whole situation haunted me for years, but thankfully I had an opportunity at an audition about ten years after the fact to look Mayim in the eye and apologize for what I did, to which she responded, 'I release you!'"
"I took that to mean that she accepted my apology and that meant more to me than she will ever know."
"Considering I married someone who is Jewish and have two children who are Jewish, the idea that I caused pain to a fellow actor who was a teenager at the time is not something I'm proud of, but I have had to forgive myself."
The statement finished:
"I think Mayim is one of the smartest and most incredible people on the planet- beautiful inside and out."