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Sarah Silverman Demonstrates How to Apologize for Homophobia

sarah silverman

The comedian is done making gay jokes.

The 2019 Academy Awards still go without a host over a week after Kevin Hart stepped down from the usually coveted role. Following the comedian's past homophobic tweets resurfacing, he fumbled with his public response, initially refusing to apologize. After the Academy presented an ultimatum, he pulled out of his hosting duties and tweeted an apology.

Now, fellow comedian, Sarah Silverman, is owning up to her past mistakes, responding to her own old tweets resurfaced by Nick Cannon. Cannon dug up past statements by Silverman, Chelsea Handler, and Amy Schumer that used the term "faggot," asking why it was ok when they used it.

"Yea, I'm done with that," Silverman told TMZ when asked about the posts on Friday. "I think I can find other ways to be funny. I used to say 'gay' all the time like, 'That's so gay!' Because we're from Boston. We'd go, 'That's what you say in Boston. I have gay friends. I just say gay.' Then I heard myself, and I realized I was like the guy who'd say, 'What? I say colored. I have colored friends.' I realized it's stupid, and I'm certainly creative enough to think of other words besides that that don't hurt people. But I fuck up all the time."

Silverman's response is an example of the proper way for a public figure to own up to their past mistakes. Usage of the word "faggot" should never be excused in any context by those outside of the queer spectrum. But when it comes to public apologies, it's important to look at the context.

In Silverman's case, not only has she acknowledged her use of the slur on Twitter, vowing not to use it again, but has done the work to show she is an ally and advocate for this community. In 2015, she headlined a comedy event for The Trevor Project, and she was one of several celebs to contribute to the It Gets Better campaign in 2010. Plus, her Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program, featured a gay couple as main characters and openly gay actors including Tig Notaro at the dawn of our current golden age of TV representation.

I'm not defending anyone's right to use a word that's been weaponized against our community for generations. But it's important to acknowledge that wrongs can be made right if addressed with sincerity.

Related | Kevin Hart Steps Down from Oscars After Homophobic Tweets Surface

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