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‘No One Believes Her Groveling’: Sarah Silverman Claims She Cringes at the Use of the N-Word with ‘the Hard R’ In Her Old Comedy Sketches

Sarah Silverman admits that she cringes at some of her old comedy sketches. The comedian has appeared in blackface and used the N-word in her comedy in the past.

Silverman appeared on the CBC podcast “Q with Tom Power” on March 8 and admitted to using racial slurs in her comedy special back in 2005, “Jesus Is Magic.” The comedian also noted that artists should learn from their past work.

Sarah Silverman appears on the podcast "Q with Tom Power."
Sarah Silverman (Photos: Twitter/@Marrrrcussss, YouTube screenshot/ Q with Tom Power)

“Comedy is not evergreen,” said Silverman. “If you’re not looking back at what you did 10 years ago and cringing, you’re probably doing something wrong, in my view,” she said. “I mean, look, my first special is problematic in 18 different ways. Is there funny stuff? Absolutely,” she said, noting that art changes with the times. “There’s, like, N-word, hard R, you know, the R-word, the M-word for little person.”

Silverman went on to say that once you know something is wrong, the bell can’t be unrung.

“I’m not saying this out of fear, but just out of being mindful because once you learn something, you can’t unring that bell unless you decide you’re going to just know something cuts people and say it anyway.”

The 52-year-old comedian also appeared in blackface during an episode of “The Sarah Silverman Program” on Comedy Central back in 2007. In the sketch, Silverman plays a fictionalized version of herself who wears blackface to determine if it’s harder to be Black or Jewish.

“There’s a picture of me in blackface that exists with no context,” she said. “Would I do it today? Obviously not, you know. But it is frustrating to see something that was done with intentions, you know, with a lot of intentions … and then all that’s left is a screenshot that is horrifying.”

Silverman went on to say that she accepts the consequences that come with her shock-value style of comedy. She was terminated from a film in 2019 after a picture from the blackface episode resurfaced, and the comedian noted the controversy during the podcast interview.

“The consequences that come from it I accept wholeheartedly because that’s what art is. … You know, everyone wants to be this risky, edgy comic, but ‘risky’ means there’s risk and consequence. And you have to suck it up and take it,” she said.

Silverman also spoke about cancel culture previously and said it’s dangerous because, without a path to redemption, people who are banished will go where they are accepted.

“They’re going to find someplace where they are accepted, and it’s not going to be with progressives, which ironically means to be changed, progress,” she said. “If we don’t give these people a path to redemption, then they’re going to go where they are accepted, which is the mothef—g dark side.”

People reacted to the interview on social media, and one fan slammed Silverman for being “woke.”

“Lame, woke comics are the worst,” replied one. “Like no one believes her groveling.”

Another fan noted that the jokes were cringy the first time. “I cringed when they were her new jokes.”

During her recent comedy show in Atlantic City on Feb. 4, a 71-year-old Black man wearing blackface was hospitalized for anxiety after being kicked out of the show. Michael B. Jackson said he was at the show to peacefully protest her blackface skit and was escorted out of the show after he quietly sat in the front row. Silverman reportedly said she would have apologized to Jackson once she got on stage if he still had been in the audience.

Silverman is currently starring in Mel Brooks’s new series, “History of the World: Part II” on Hulu. 

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