If Scarlett Johansson is the Jewish actress we use to stick it to the goys, and Natalie Portman is the Jewish actress we use to represent us to the goys, then Jenny Slate is the Jewish actress we use to help us love ourselves.
Slate is a comedian who spent one season on “Saturday Night Live” before staking her claim as one of the most endearing actresses to ever wander on to the screens of indie films (“Obvious Child”) and highbrow sitcoms (“Parks and Recreation”).
Her hair is Jewish hair, and it’s beautiful. Her nose is a Jewish nose, and it looks perfect. Hers is the kind of squeaky voice that has launched a thousand talking head debates on gendered speech, and it is impossible to stop listening to. Her Judaism is everywhere in her comedy, and last spring when she went through a breakup with “Captain America” star Chris Evans, who has a kind of cereal box-model-Aryan appeal, it was clear: Jenny Slate is our girl.
Slate was the person who decided to give her voice to a decorative seashell “Marcel the Shell” which became an internet phenomenon. She voiced a sheep in “Zootopia”, Harley Quinn in “The Lego Movie”, Tammy Larsen on “Bob’s Burgers”, and many other weird and little and loud characters. She is generous with her voice. So it should be no surprise that she gave voice to a sentiment that other people have only been able to whisper or scream.
In an interview yesterday with The Guardian, Slate was asked what she thinks about Ivanka Trump, specifically charges that she is “complicit.” Slate responded:
I think that Ivanka Trump is a fake feminist who will go down in history as someone who really betrayed human beings and should be ashamed of herself. I’m ashamed of her. I think she’s really gross and her husband is as well.
Slate added, “Everyone should be speaking out because what’s going on is terrifying and despicable. It’s really an emergency.”
Once again: Jenny Slate is our girl.
Watch the trailer for Slate’s recent film with Chris Evans, “Gifted”, below:
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny.