Sarah Silverman Responds to Backlash Over 2007 Britney Spears Roast

Sarah Silverman made jokes about Britney Spears after the singer's 2007 MTV Video Music Awards performance. Now, the comedian is addressing her routine.

By Elyse Dupre Feb 10, 2021 1:53 PMTags
Britney Spears, Sarah SilvermanJon Kopaloff/WireImage, Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Sarah Silverman is speaking out about her roast of Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.

On Feb. 7, just days after the documentary Framing Britney Spears premiered, a Twitter user and Spears fan resurfaced a clip of Silverman's routine. 

"Um @SarahKSilverman girl what is this," the social media user asked, "explain yourself x."

In the video, the comedian could be seen making several jokes at the singer's expense. "[She's] 25 years old and she's already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life," Silverman said at the time. "It's mind-blowing. And she's so grown-up. She's a mother, you know? It's crazy. It's weird to think that just a few years ago on this very show, she was this, like, sweet, innocent little girl in slutty clothes riding around with a python."

She also took shots at Spears' children, Sean Preston Federline and Jayden James Federline, calling them "the most adorable mistakes you will ever see."

"Framing Britney Spears'" Most Disturbing Moments

The roast came after Spears' "Gimme More" VMAs performance The highly anticipated number received poor reviews, with The New York Times calling Spears "awful" and writing she looked "visibly nervous." At the time, a source told People the "Stronger" star was "just plain nervous because of all the hype" and was "embarrassed" about the performance. 

Ultimately, some fans thought Silverman took the routine too far and called for her to apologize after seeing the resurfaced clip.

In her reply to the Twitter user, Silverman noted she was known then for her roasts. "MTV asked me to mini-roast Britney after her big performance," she tweeted. "While she was performing I was having diarrhea & going over my jokes. Had no idea she didn't kill. Unfortunate. Art changes over yrs as we know more & the world changes."

She also seemed to express regret over making the jokes 14 years ago. "I wish I could delete it but I can't," she continued. "But you are posting it for people to see. So r u trying to be kind or right?"

Silverman isn't the only celebrity to receive criticism since the documentary's debut. Diane Sawyer also received backlash over her 2003 interview with Spears, which was featured in the film. Justin Timberlake, who dated Spears, came under fire, as well for his "Cry Me a River" music video, which appeared to feature a Spears look-alike, and the narrative around their split.

Framing Britney Spears examines the #FreeBritney movement and Spears' conservatorship

The New York Times film is available to stream on FX and Hulu.