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After avoiding all things slap-related for nearly six weeks, Sarah Silverman found herself in the hot seat Wednesday morning when she was asked about the infamous Oscars moment on The View. Silverman insisted that she doesn't "feel scared" in the wake of Will Smith's altercation with Chris Rock and the recent attack on Dave Chappelle, but she admitted it's an "odd" time to be a comedian. "People have higher expectations of their comedians than their representatives," she told the co-hosts.
Silverman appeared on The View to promote her new musical, "The Bedwetter," but in the second half of the interview, the discussion turned to the current state of comedy. "You're back on the stage doing stand-up, I understand," said Joy Behar. "Are you nervous about getting onstage since the slap that was heard around the world? And also Chappelle, the other day, had an incident?"
"It's crazy. For some reason I'm not [nervous]," said Silverman, as she struggled to find the right words to express her feelings. "It's odd. I don't feel scared, personally."
When Behar said "it's outrageous" that "all the sudden, if you say something they don't like, they decide that they can come up and hit you," Silverman agreed. "You know, I hadn't said anything about The Slap, but you know what's interesting about it to me?" she added. "Audiences — and we know this as comedians — are a monolith. They act as one. If you're part of a crowd, you're a mob. Any one of us, if we're part of a crowd, it works that way."
"So if you think about it, a very powerful man got up and assaulted someone and then sat back down and enjoyed the show and laughed and clapped, and the audience were like, 'I guess nothing happened,'" she continued. "And then they just kind of went along with it, and that's how trauma works. It's why people don't report things for years because there isn't slow-motion or music telling us how to feel or that this is a defining moment. It just happens, and the next moment happens, and the moment thing happens."
Silverman went on to respond to people who criticized the standing ovation Smith received when he won Best Actor less than an hour after he slapped Rock. "You would've too if you were there, is my guess. Because you just become one," she said. "You dream — you think after the fact, 'I would've said this. I would've said that.'"
Elsewhere on The View... Joy Behar gave The View's producers a fright when she came thisclose to cursing on air.
While discussing Elon Musk promising to reverse Trump's Twitter ban, Behar said that the former president was kicked off for "inciting an insurrection," not for posting "dumb shit." At the last second, Behar caught herself and changed "shit" to "stuff," but a delayed bleep ensured that the curse word came out loud and clear. Still, Behar insisted she held her tongue, assuring the panel, "I didn't say it. I didn't say it."
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.