An excellent new GQ profile on Sarah Silverman focuses on her efforts to empathize with her haters. And boy did she ever make good on that goal in an exchange with a man on Twitter who called her the C word.
The story recounts the time a San Antonio man named Jeremy Jamrozy, tweeted the word at Silverman in all caps.
“I was walking my dog, and I happened to see his tweet, and then I looked at his timeline, and it was just so clear that he was acting out,” Silverman told GQ. “It was all just racial slurs and then one thing that said ‘I have severe back pain,’ and I didn’t think twice. I just responded, and I was like, ‘You’re in a lot of pain.'”
The story broke around the start of this year. But GQ went into rich detail, including an interview with Jamrozy.
“What she said broke through what months and months of therapy couldn’t even do,” he said. “Like, she just broke me down to where she made me more humble and nice and positive. She disarmed me. She’s gotten me to feel more spiritual somehow, in a way.”
From there, GQ explained, Silverman “helped him out with his extensive medical bills and sent him resistance bands to help with his crushing back problems. To this day, the two are still friends and DM each other on a daily basis.”
That kind of walk-the-walk empathy — far past the point where most people could reasonably be expected to be empathetic — is also the basis of Silverman’s Hulu talk show, “I Love You, America,” in which she listens to people with whom she fervently disagrees, including Trump voters.
It probably isn’t surprising that Silverman also has empathy for her disgraced longtime friend, Louis CK, who has admitted to a pattern of masturbating in front of women — and former Sen. Al Franken, who resigned after a photo emerged of him groping an unconscious woman. The author of the GQ story, Drew Magary, pushes back on whether Silverman is being too forgiving or going too far to understand people who don’t deserve understanding.
It’s a fascinating read, made all the more enjoyable by the thing we haven’t even gotten into yet: How funny Silverman is. Give it a read here.