Former Saturday Night Live cast member Melanie Hutsell expressed regret over playing Mayim Bialik's Blossom with a prosthetic nose in a 1994 sketch — and now, Bialik is responding to Hutsell's statement.
"Thank you Melanie Hutsell for this - I did not intend to disparage you or SNL and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness around this!" the actress wrote on Instagram. "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!"
Jesse Grant/Getty Images; Larry Busacca/Getty Images Mayim Bialik and Melanie Hutsell
Last week, Hutsell told EW, "I was absolutely horrified that they wanted me to wear a prosthetic nose to play Mayim Bialik's character, Blossom. I knew it was wrong." The actress also said that her career was threatened when she resisted the makeup choice, saying, "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."
Hutsell also told EW that Bialik had forgiven her when the two actresses crossed paths about 10 years after the sketch. "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."
Hutsell's statement to EW came in response to Bialik's recent essay in Variety, in which the Jeopardy host reflected on the SNL incident. "In order to truly convey that she was 'Blossom,' [Hutsell] wore a fake, big nose," Bialik wrote. "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."
In addition to saying that she "felt ashamed" over the depiction, Bialik also wrote that she feared the wider emotional implications of the SNL sketch beyond her own personal reaction. "Girls all over the world used to tell me that they had never seen a Jewish girl like me on TV before they saw me on Blossom," she wrote. "Many said they knew I was Jewish and it made them proud to be. That was so touching to me, and it still is… I wonder how those girls felt when they saw an actress playing me with a comically prosthetic nose."
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