Comedian Sarah Silverman recently admitted that she was given a pass for offensive jokes during her career — jokes for which normal people would have been denounced — because she is liberal.
Silverman’s comments came during an interview on the “SmartLess” podcast, which is hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.
What did Silverman say?
The liberal comedian is known for making off-color and offensive jokes throughout her career. She has joked about religions, AIDS, and rape. As Fox News noted, Silverman even once wore “blackface” on her show “The Sarah Silverman Program” in 2007.
Toward the beginning of the podcast, Hayes noted that Silverman has gotten “away with a lot of stuff,” referring to offensive jokes.
So that’s my thing; it’s like you’ve always been such a — I don’t know — such a f***ing stupid word, “edgy.” It’s always about the messenger of the joke; it’s never really about — so, you can say on “The Sarah Silverman Program,” you could do a joke about AIDS like that and people embrace it and laugh because it’s you saying it. So, what do you think is the difference between you saying it and somebody else saying it and not getting away with it. Seems like you get away with a lot of stuff because you’re so f***ing funny, but some of it’s pretty dark.
In response, Silverman said she was given a pass because she is liberal.
“I think it’s the intention behind it, like, this is a math term, but it’s kind of like the absolute power of the joke,” Silverman began. “Like, especially back then I always said the opposite of what I thought and that was the joke, kinda. Hopefully the truth transcends that I don’t really feel this way, not to break it down in the least funny possible way, but it is also interesting, too, because that comedy I did, you’re right, it was like, ‘Oh it’s OK because you know I don’t mean it.'”
She continued, “But then it also is kind of like, ‘We’re liberal, so we can say anything. So, we can say, you know, the words that are unsayable or whatever. You know I don’t mean it, so I can say it.’ There is kind of a liberal, like, douchiness about it, I think, in retrospect.”
Arnett responded by agreeing with Silverman. However, he essentially blamed “everyone who is not liberal” for the cancel culture that exists today.
“Everyone who is not liberal is so serious and so dark and so real about their negativity or hate or racism, or whatever it is, that it’s taken all of that away,” Arnett said. “I don’t even want to joke about a lot of things that are rough or maybe pushing boundaries because you feel like, ‘I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way because there are so many people who mean it.’
However, Silverman has not always been given a free pass. She admitted last year that she was fired from a movie role because of her infamous blackface skit.
“I recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part, then at 11 p.m. the night before they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode. I didn’t fight it,” Silverman said on “The Bill Simmons” podcast.