Sarah Silverman defends jokes about Britney Spears’ children

09/25/2007 at 09:29 PM ET

Britneyspears_154136_cbbComedian Sarah Silverman defended her controversial monologue from the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, claiming she didn’t intend the jokes about Britney Spears’ children to be hurtful or cause drama.

Shortly after Britney’s performance on the telecast, Sarah, 36, took the stage and claimed Britney’s two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, were “the most adorable mistakes you will ever see.” Sarah explained the comments to Us Weekly:

The joke that everyone was upset about — me calling the kids “adorable mistakes” — was the most innocuous joke. It never occurred to me that would be deemed hurtful or over the line. I don’t want to get into feuds with girls half my age. I’m in it to be funny and not for the drama. It’s embarrassing.

The second season of Sarah’s Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program, begins October 3.

Source: Us Weekly

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Showing 50 comments

Ivey on

Good at least she’s embarrassed thats a start. I wonder if she has any children.

Sarah’s note: No, she doesn’t.

Mylie on

It really wasn’t a very nice thing to say. I am glad the boys are not old enough to understand what she said.

Michelle on

I couldn’t believe the words were coming out of her mouth as she was saying them. She said these hurtful words right in front of Britney. I guess there are no limits with silverman, I think she should be ashamed of herself.

Harman on

The comments were very rude and she should not have said anything about the kids.

monica on

I think she was just joking and people took it overboard… I mean if my mom was wondering around without underwear with people taking pictures of here and putting them all over the internet would be more embarassing or hurtful than this “joke”.

Tarsha on

She should be embarrased!

Stef on

Personally, I find the most offensive part of Silverman’s comedy is that it’s completely devoid of anything funny.
It is very easy to make rude remarks about someone, but it takes a legit comedian to do it in a way that’s clever and amusing and somewhat self-depricating…like what Conan O’Brian does. His parodies of celebs are so over the top that pointed jokes about the celebs are made easier because the portrayal makes them somehow not entirely direct.
All Silverman does is come out and essentially say what everyone is thinking with the same level of wit you would find in a junior high bully. She uses the shock value of talking about scatological things that females are traditionally encouraged not to talk about as the way to get her foot in the door.
Long story short, I think her comedy is really weak, and I’m still perplexed as to why she’s so popular.

Ivey on

Monica, I disagree, Britneys bad behaviour has nothing to do with ‘joking’ about children being worthwhile or mistakes.

I don’t know why I feel so strongly about this, but I don’t see this as an innocent joke, yes their parents are ‘troubled’ shall we say, but their is certain lines you shouldn’t cross and calling children mistakes is one of them. Pick on adults, they have freedom of choice, bad or good, children do not.

plannbb on

While I’m no fan a Britney, Sarah’s comments were just plain rude and disturbing. They’re children! I don’t care if they’re are too young to understand, or what Britney’s actions are in the media, no person, a child or not, deserves to be called a mistake.
I mean, how low can one person go? Her whole premise as a comic is “Look at me, I’m this innocent looking Jewish girl who tells dirty jokes.”/female Lenny Bruce wannabe, so she thinks that excuses her. That half apology she gives shows that she has zero character. A bigger person would have apologized properly. What goes around comes around Sarah.

Dianne on

i think nobody’s kids are mistakes.. u should be sorry about those words sarah

Colleen on

Hello people! Sarah is a comedian, she makes jokes, she makes fun of people, that is her job! Not everyone in the world will agree with 100% of the things comedians say, and you’re not supposed- everyone subsribes to their own brand of humor (or none at all).
As far as Sean and Jayden reading this one day, I’m sure there will be far worse things and much more drama-filled things for them to read about than this.

Meg on

I agree with Monica.. there are worse things for the children to be embarassed about when they get older. Maybe she SHOULDN’T have said that, but it shouldn’t have been the big deal it was made out to be.

Melanie F. on

Well IMO Sarah should find another day job, because she is just not funny to me and even if she hadn’t have said anything about Brit’s boys, there is not one thing she said, that was even slightly humorous.

Now once she has her own mistakes, I’m guessing she will see how offensive a comment like that would be to a mother. *just joking like she did*

Jenna on

I agree Stef – she’s absolutely not funny at all.

morgan on

im going to have to disagree on this one. WHile i dont think that Sarah SIlverman is a particularly funny comedian, i think its been very overblown. She was in it for the shock value and it was shocking. I think that the spears boys will have far bigger issues growing up then having to deal with the “horror” of a joke a comiden made about them when they we babies. I think the joke was more intended twords britney anyways. Im not saying its fun to say nasty things about a child, im just saying it wa a joke in bad taste. She shouldnt be burned at the stake for it.

morgan on

OH and i should have added that lines get “crossed” everyday in jokes. Turn on the TV! What about gay jokes? Racist jokes? Blonde Jokes? Hilbily Jokes? Jokes about disabled people? Those are offensive to some people too….!

gianna on

There are sadly a lot worse things sean and jayden will see and hear about britney’s than Sarah’s joke, so I agree with monica and colleen. I’m more concerned about britney’s behavior lately showing her crotch, looking unstable, reported drug use, the way she seemed dazed out at VMA’S, those type things than a joke they will probably never hear about.

Renee on

I don’t have an issue with what she said. It’s not like none of us aren’t thinking the same thing. Sure all kids are beautiful but were Britney’s kids mistakes…probably. She really didn’t need to have kids at all and so young.I adore Sarah cause she talks about everyone including herself.If you don’t get her sense of humor, that’s okay but she shouldn’t have to defend her comments.I say go Sarah and don’t let society tell you what to say or do!

sandy on

for me the most ofensive part was when she said “they are as cute as her hairless vagina” even going as far as tilting her head and making that face with her lips.

what kind of person compares toddlers to a womans genitalia.

that in my eyes is basically the most disgusting and vulgar thing she could have ever done.

Maria on

Well, I laughed when I heard the joke. Guess what people… it comes with the territory. She’s a celebrity, she’s in the limelight, and she has inevitably messed up in the public eye doing ALOT of not so brilliant things. Unfortunantly, she is going to be the butt of alot of jokes, and sadly her kids will be roped into it. If she doesn’t want her kids to be made fun of, then she needs to set a better example in public warranting her not being made fun of.

Sarah Silverman is a comedian, period. She is entitled to free speech just as everyone else is. Good for her for saying what so many people probably think to themselves.

Mel on

I am a fan of Sarah and at one time one of Brit. My feelings on this matter and any other celeb joke etc……parents are fair game they chose this life.they know that paparazzi will be there, jokes will be told etc….Children should be left alone they didn’t ask to be born to this “celeb” life, and this is one time I truly think Sarah went too far.

Alyssa on

I think her comment was rude.
Those children are precious and not mistakes.

Melanie F. on

Children can be unplanned. There are some cases out there were people have made the mistake of being a parent. But, children are never mistakes. Reality is not everyone who are parents, deserve to be so, but guess what? Those parents made the mistake of having a child, the child is not a mistake, because for one it did not ask to be born.

Kaya on

Exactly what ‘line’ has been crossed? This was the VMA awards; there are no ‘lines,’ only a few FCC regulations. The whole point of MTV is to shock and push the envelope, which is exactly what Sarah did. She gave the target audience exactly what they were looking for, whether they want to admit it or not.
Seriously, they’ve broken just about every other taboo they could get away with; why not make fun of the children? Lesbian kisses are so passe.

Noe on

People need to get over it, it was a joke!

Natalie S. on

All I got to say is..Sarah Silverman..I’ll start laughing, once your jokes actually become funny.

Cait on

Fact is, Britney chose to be in the limelight, NOT her kids. They’re innocent in this whole thing and REGARDLESS of the fact whether Sarah Silverman is a comedian or not, the respectful and DECENT thing to do is to leave the kids out of it.

Plain and simple, she was in the wrong and she had no business using them in her material.

Jen on

Maria, Sarah Silverman may be a comedian but she just isn’t all that funny. Her thing is to be shocking and make derogatory remarks “out of jest”and I think it’s getting old with a lot of people now.

I don’t know, it could be me, but if you have a beef or a bad joke about someone, you pick on them, not dragging their babies or family into it.

Alex on

My, my, a popular post here. Well, these are my two cents:

Britney is obviously someone who has done controversial things lately. Any amount of controversy is going to get people attention, and ultimately people are going to get mocked and ridiculed about their actions. Maybe Britney had it coming. Maybe not.

I think Sarah Silverman had every right to poke fun at Britney and her antics. However, she should NEVER have brought the children into it. Those children did not chose to be in the position they are in. Sarah was making fun of Britney’s personal life, her family. That was completely offensive.

I also think Britney may partly be to blame for those comments. Maybe “blame” is the wrong word, but I do think she should be acting more responsible and think through her action seeing as how she does have children now.

At this point I do think Britney is going through some mental problems. I am not a fan of hers and I never have been, but I’m starting to feel sorry for her. I just hope she can get some help so she can raise her children quietly and decently.

Sarah on

I personally do not think she is funny but talking about any celebrity children is just wrong and off limits. It is sad she will say anything and not think twice about it. I feel bad for Britney and hope she gets her life together for her adorable boys! =)

sil on

I don’t find Sarah Silverman funny at all…I think she is ridiculous. And as somebody said before, compare the babies to her vagina was really disgusting and vulgar…imo

Maria on

Jen, I think she is hilarious! Not everyone has to like her. I dont like everyone in this world, and that’s what makes being human so great. You have to option to like or dislike something, no one is forcing you to do so.

I think it’s time to move on from this topic now, don’t you all think? 🙂

jz on

She’s surprised and said it was innocuous? I guess she thinks if she describes the kids as “adorable”, that no one will notice that she’s just pointed out that they are mistakes and be fooled into thinking it was complementary. OR, that people will miss the double intender that Britney made a mistake or didn’t plan it etc. Even that is SUCH a put down.

Silverman uses a cynical formula, but doesn’t realize that you can’t apply that in that circumstance without over doing it! Just to mention someone’s baby or family is over the line. She tried to disguise it as satire, but any one can tell she meant it to be a put down in one way or more than one way. People aren’t stupid. They can tell EXACTLY what she was doing.

Also to put someone down who is trying to spring back from re-hab and has many problems is low. You don’t step on someone when they are down to try to get more fame.

I’ll also invite you to notice what she said to Paris. Note, it has nothing to do with if you like or don’t like her. It’s the attitude that sucks. On the night before she would go to jail, she said in front of everyone, “And now she’s going to jail” in front of her face at the show! She was truly afraid of jail. It doesn’t matter if she deserved it. She was scared, yet Sarah thought it would be really funny.

What kind of person does that kind of thing? If she thinks what she is doing is good comedy then it’s the most pathetic attempt I’ve ever seen. And sadly she thinks it is…

Anon on

I am wrong in thinking that Britney herself called her kids her boo boos. If so then she opened herself up for ridicule. Yes the kids should be off limit but this isn’t a perfect world and other than saying they were mistakes, Sarah was actually nice about them. If you payed attention she was saying how unbelievably cute they were. She only parodied wht their mum called them. Upping the ante from boo boos to mistakes which is exactly what brit meant. Quite frankly, it is her comment the kids are going to be upset with, not some comedian they have no idea of. That siad, I dont find Sarahs comedy funny. Just not my cup of tea.

Jadine on

Personally I don’t find Sarah Silverman that funny to begin with. Having said that I also realized that being shocking and saying things that will disturb most likely the majority of people is her thing. She makes jokes about race, sexuality, AIDS, age all the time, so I don’t really understand all of the shock and disgust over her making a joke about Britney’s kids and her um… nether regions. Thats her thing. She says really offensive things, that make people wonder “should I laugh at this? Is it okay if I find this funny.” Who knows, she may be a comedic genius or something, because she gets our brains going. And I know one thing, we’re definitely giving her the attention she wants since its weeks later, and we’re still talking about it.

Jenny on

First, MTV explioted Britney Spears by even putting her on the show and having her followed by Sarah Silverman. It was awful and I turned it off for the night immediately.

Sarah was not funny – it was painful to watch.

Jess on

It’s a big deal because she doesn’t give a damn or see the problem. No matter how much a wreck Britney is you can’t call her kids mistakes. It’s not funny at all, that’s a crime in itself but it’s also lame and offensive.

She’s about as funny as a group of try-hard mean girls who come up with really, really bad insults.

Emily on

i was horrified by sarah’s skit….but to her credit, she was making a comment about celebrity tabloids with the “adorable mistake” comment. it was a reference to a tabloid headline that ran a few weeks back where britney allegedly called her children “mistakes.”

nicksmomma on

Sarah Silverman is very uncouth. I don’t even see how she could think ANYONE would take that “joke” as funny. I was shocked and mortified when I heard her say that on the awards show. And that was just part of it..the other part was very vulgar and disgusting (the references she was making to Britney’s “private” area..if you saw the show, you know what I am referring to). It was just completely uncalled for. I know her “thing” is talking smack about celebrities, but I think she took it WAY too far in this instance.
I am very well aware that Britney has done some very questionable things lately when it comes to her children, but I can say with almost 100% certainty that she hardly thinks of them as “mistakes”.
Ms. Silverman needs to take some etiquette lessons herself, and learn that putting down others isn’t always funny.

Brittany on

Have any of you so offended by what Sara said also offended by the way that Britney behaves, being a mother? She is directly affecting her children by acting like an unfit parent who seems to care more about partying then she does spending time with her kids. What she does/says and what Kevin does/says is going to affect them more than what anyone else does or says. So can we please get all on Britney’s case too?

Kristin17 on

“Sure all kids are beautiful but were Britney’s kids mistakes…probably. She really didn’t need to have kids at all and so young”

Renee I am glad you are our expert on who should have kids and at what age. What would this blog be without you.

angela on

She is a comedian. She rags on people for a living. MTV hired her knowing she rips into people to create controversy. All of the comedian-hosts (that I can remember) for the VMAs are crass and crude in their “jokes.” People expect wild and crazy at the VMAs, and MTV brings in tons of viewers because of it!

Sadie on

Well, growing up my mom always joked that I was a “mistake” so I didn’t think it was offensive to hear Sarah Silverman say that… and I think I turned out okay myself. 😉

shelley on

i found the whole thing uncomfortable to watch not only the comments about britneys kids but about her aswell. i just couldn’t believe what i was hearing. i think the fact that she doesn’t see anything wrong with what she said very disturbing. i don’t like her style of commedy it is just horrible. even the other celebrities at the VMAs didnt know what to think of her and i think she should give a proper apology.
also calling kids boo boos is not saying there mistakes its a term of endearment that many mothers use.

mandy on

I love Sarah Silverman and normally find her quite funny. I do, however, find the things she said about Britney and her boys very offensive. I think it crossing the line to say things about people’s children…those little boys did not choose to be in the public eye. In addition, I find it a bit rude to speak about Britney’s mothering skills when we do not know her personally. Don’t get me wrong, driving with your baby on your lap and the other things Britney has done are not “parent of the year” material. I try not to judge parents because I believe that most parents try to do the best for their children.

Diana on

Cait – I absolutely agree, I think the kids should be left out of it. Comedians make many offensive jokes all the time, but for me I just think that they should leave the kids alone.

I think Sarah is usually funny, but I didn’t find this funny.

Seriously there is plenty to make fun of Britney for, why pick on her kids.

fan on

You know you were thinking it, Silverman just said it! Britney needs to grow up and take care of the those little innocent “mistakes”!

daphneesmith on

Britney’s a trainwreck. BUT Sarah Silverman, who calls herself a comedian, is simply not funny. There is a difference between funny and cruel. And what she said was uncalled for. I hope she’s proud of herself; she most likely is.

Kelly on

Can everyone please stop taking everything so seriously? We have something called “freedom of speech” here in this country and it’s a very valuable tool that many in this world do not get to take advantage of. Sarah has every right to say what she did and you all do too. However don’t get mad when someone else has a different opinion than you do. As Enimem so wisely said, “I find you offensive for finding me offensive”

PSB on

I usually think Sarah is hilarious, but she was really unfunny at the VMAs. I do think it’s kind of tacky to make jokes about people’s children, but I defend her right to free speech, and if people don’t like it, they can call her out on it–which they did. I don’t think she should complain about the backlash – she knew what she was doing when she said that. It’s like yelling fire in a crowded bldg and then acting surprised people start panicking.

She took a chance and it didn’t pay off. Even though I didn’t find the joke funny, I wasn’t offended–until she did the whole vagina thing, and then I just was just grossed out. There’s no planet where that would be funny. I’d still rather see a comedianne take chances than one who only tells safe jokes like Jay Leno. At least there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll laugh at something Sarah says – there’s a .0001% chance Leno will make me smile.