Sarah Silverman is trying to mend fences with Paris Hilton.
On the latest episode of her podcast, the comedian offers an apology to the former reality star over a joke she made at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.
The same night the show was filmed, Hilton turned herself in to serve a jail term for violation of her probation.
“I heard that to make her feel comfortable in prison, the guards are going to paint the bars to look like penises. I just worry that she’s gonna break her teeth on those things,” Silverman joked at the time.
In an episode of Hilton’s “This Is Paris” podcast, she called out the joke, saying that it was “so disgusting and so cruel and mean.”
Now, over a decade later, Silverman says she agrees with Hilton about the joke.
“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,” she says at the beginning of her show. “Here we go … you know, 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.”
Silverman continues, “I’ve actually dedicated the past several years trying to 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.”
Admitting that there is plenty she has to be sorry for over the years, Silverman says, “I have lived too long to not have f**ked up a lot, and publicly. I bet even Paris Hilton could maybe relate to that.”
Remembering that night, the comedian says, “While I was thrilled at the success of my monologue, I remember spotting her in the audience, I really do, and I remember seeing that look on her face and my heart sank. There was a person under there. A couple days later I wrote her a letter apologizing, felt awful and I never heard back, I certainly wouldn’t expect to anyways.”
She adds that she was upset to learn Hilton never received that letter, “because I really meant it.”
“I regretted the jokes not years later, but kind of immediately,” Silverman says. “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.”
She goes on, “I can’t imagine what you were going through at the time. My understanding of humanity through the lens of my work as a comedian had not yet merged and I’m sorry I hurt you. Comedy is not evergreen. We can’t change the past, so what’s crucial is that we change with the times.”
Finally, Silverman expresses her hope that Hilton accepts her apology.
“I felt it the second I saw your face that night,” she says. “It feels terrible to know you have hurt someone and it’s important to make it right. I hope this does that.”
Hilton addressed Silverman’s apology in the most recent episode of “This is Paris”, saying the awards “haunted me for a very long time”.
“She was so genuine and so sweet, it really moved me,” Hilton said. “I appreciate it so much.”