Sarah Silverman Apologizes to Paris Hilton For "Ugly" Jail Joke at 2007 MTV Movie Awards

On her podcast this week, Sarah Silverman said she "immediately" regretted roasting Paris Hilton at 2007 MTV Movie Awards and "felt awful" after seeing the look on her face in the crowd.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 04, 2021 9:11 PMTags

Sarah Silverman is apologizing to Paris Hilton over a joke she made about the heiress 14 years ago. 

On The Sarah Silverman Podcast, Sarah admitted that she "immediately" regretted making fun of Paris at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. 

The ceremony took place one day before Paris was set to begin her jail time due to driving violations following her arrest for a suspected DUI. "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," Sarah said at the show.

On her This is Paris podcast this week, Paris and her sister Nicky Hilton spoke with E! News' Hunter March about the brutal moment. 

Nicky said they were "disgusting, vile, perverted statements" and explained that the monologue would have been inappropriate by today's standards: "Imagine if that happened today? It wouldn't." 

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Paris recalled that she was "trying to be brave" in the audience, but on the inside, she was "wanting to die."  

"I literally wanted to run out of the entire room, but I just was trying to be strong and sit there as the whole audience is laughing," Paris recounted. "It was so painful, especially with what I was going through in my life, to then have people be so mean about it. It was really hard." 

Getty Images, Brendan Forbes

Sarah addressed the callout on her podcast this week, saying, "The crowd went bananas, and 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 said she was "real sorry" to hear on Paris' podcast that the newly engaged reality star never received her apology note, "because I really meant it." 

The comedian confessed, "I regretted the jokes not years later, but kind of immediately. I wrote to let her know, but I know now that the letter didn't get to her. So, 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."

Sarah later said, "I felt it the second I saw your face that night. It feels terrible to know you have hurt someone and it's important to make it right. So, I hope this does that."

Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

She also agreed with Nicky that the joke would never happen today. "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," Sarah continued. "I'm super down with reflecting on the past and my part in perpetuating real ugly s--t." 

The Wreck-It Ralph star added, "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."

She explained that she came up in a time when talk show hosts and comedians were hired "to make fun of pop culture" and "were roasting the biggest celebrities." And as Sarah put it, "Nobody was bigger than Paris Hilton."

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