Jenny Slate is standing by her “Everything Everywhere All at Once” cameo.
The former “Big Mouth” star was originally listed as “Big Nose” in the small part for Daniels’ Oscar-nominated film. Slate plays a character who goes up against Michelle Yeoh’s lead in the multiverse. According to co-directors Daniels, the term “Big Nose” in Chinese culture refers to white people in general, hence Evelyn (Yeoh) calling Slate that in the film.
“They explained it to me,” Slate told The Independent. “They explained it to me right away, so I never felt it was antisemitic.”
However, the character still garnered backlash from audiences, prompting the Daniels, comprised of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, to send Slate an email.
“I’m not on social media much, so they made me aware of it, like, ‘There’s this discussion and it sort of breaks our hearts that you would ever feel that there was something antisemitic or that we were commenting on you, or saying that you’re not beautiful,'” Slate said. “And I was like, ‘You guys explained this to me right away. I thought it was funny.'”
She added, “On my end, I was always very clear and I made the decision to play the character knowing what the name or non-name was.”
Eventually, the character was formally credited as “Debbie the Dog Mom” instead.
Daniel Kwan previously told Digital Spy that the phrase “Big Nose” had “nothing to do with the Jewish people,” but the reaction to Slate’s cut role made them realize “‘Oh, fuck.’ This is like that weird alchemy that happened when we didn’t — we had gotten in a blind spot.
“I was like, I don’t blame them for being — if they are — offended,” Kwan said. “But now we’re realizing, ‘Oh, the biggest offense of that whole thing is the fact that we just never gave her a proper name in the credits, right?’ Firstly, it was like it was a shorthand because — out of our laziness. That’s what she was called in the movie, let’s call her that. But now we can see how dehumanizing it is.”
Co-director Daniel Scheinert added, “We’re not proud of that name.”