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Sarah Silverman Has Apologized To Paris Hilton For A ‘Mean And Cruel’ Joke At The VMAs

Sarah Silverman’s earlier career in stand-up was built around a certain shocking persona. Silverman, like a lot of comedians at the time, made jokes that would not fly today. In light of the Framing Britney Spears‘ documentary, a number of old interactions have been revisited and recontextualized, like an old interview of Lindsay Lohan by David Letterman. In fact, last month, Silverman apologized for jokes she made about Spears at the 2007 VMAs.

Now Silverman is apologizing to Paris Hilton for jokes she made about her at the same 2007 Video Music Awards hosted by Silverman. Hilton, like a number of celebrities during the pandemic (including Silverman) has recently gotten into the podcast game, and on a recent episode of This Is Paris, Hilton took Silverman to task for a joke that was “disgusting and cruel and mean.”

The joke was a reference to Hilton turning herself into the police for a parole violation around the time of the 2007 VMAs. “I heard that to make her feel comfortable in prison, the guards are going to paint the bars to look like penises,” Silverman joked. “I just worry that she’s gonna break her teeth on those things.” Silverman regrets the joke today.

“I’m gonna talk about Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton, on her latest podcast, calls me out for jokes I did about her when I hosted the 2007 MTV Movie Awards,” Silverman said this week on The Sarah Silverman Podcast. “As she said herself on the podcast, this would never happen today and she’s right, I wouldn’t. I would never do those jokes today.”

While admitting to having a lot to be sorry for about jokes in her past, Silverman suggested that she has evolved, and she has worked in recent years “do comedy that attempts to marry hard-hitting jokes with actual heart”:

“Back then, the consensus seemed to be that was not possible and I fully accepted that. I came up in a time when talk show hosts and comedians hired to make fun of pop culture were roasting the biggest celebrities and pop culture icons at the time and nobody was bigger than Paris Hilton.”

“So here we are in an awakened world and I am totally into it, it’s how we grow, it’s how we change. I’m super down with reflecting on the past and my part in perpetuating real ugly sh*t. And yes, we can continue to litigate the past, but I do believe that maybe that should be coupled with taking into account any growth that has come with those passing years.”

“I have lived too long to not have f*cked up a lot, and publicly,” Silverman said, and even noted that she felt bad about the jokes in the moment. She said that after delivering the joke and spotting Paris Hilton in the audience, she recognized that “there was a person under there.” She said that, a few days after the VMAs, she wrote a letter apologizing. “I felt awful and I never heard back, I certainly wouldn’t expect to anyways,” Silverman continued.

“Here I am, 14 years later, telling you, Paris, that I am really sorry. I was then and I am, much more completely and with far more understanding I think, now,” Silverman concluded.

Given Silverman’s history of stand-up, this may not be the last apology she is asked to make, but considering the way that Silverman has evolved as a comedian, I doubt she’d mind making those apologies.

Source: The Sarah Silverman Podcast

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