She responds with class, and potentially changes a life
Trolls are one of the hazards of social media, especially when you’re a celebrity. People are gonna hate, and online they can do it anonymously, with little fear of retribution. Most of us likely ignore them, or respond in kind, fighting fire with fire.
When a troll recently attacked Sarah Silverman, an accomplished comedian with a reputation for a potty mouth, she went the other way, and the results were amazing.
A man took to Twitter to call Silverman a “cunt” and rather than ignore or dismiss him, and instead of hitting him back with an insult of her own, Silverman reached out. And he responded. Suddenly the unlikely duo were having an honest relationship about pain and empathy, and the angry man who lashed out just might have exited with some of the help he needs.
I believe in you. I read ur timeline & I see what ur doing & your rage is thinly veiled pain. But u know that. I know this feeling. Ps My back Fucking sux too. see what happens when u choose love. I see it in you.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2017
Instead of more vitriol, the comedian’s surprising response elicited unexpected honesty from the so-called troll, spurring him to reveal the source of his anger, and their chat continued.
I can't choose love. A man that resembles Kevin spacey took that away when I was 8. I can't find peace if I could find that guy who ripped my body who stripped my innocence I'd kill him. He fucked me up and I'm poor so its hard to get help.— Jeremy jamrozy (@jeremy_jamrozy) December 29, 2017
I can’t imagine your rage. Just reading that makes me want to do bad things. Stand by— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2017
I have ptsd. I see this man in my dreams as nightmares of him doing wut he did. He destroyed me. Goddammit I'm getting emotional. I hate him. This motherfucker god damn I wish I can find him. I care not of the consequences.— Jeremy jamrozy (@jeremy_jamrozy) December 29, 2017
Good. I want to kill him too so I can’t imagine your rage. All I know is this rage- and even if you could kill him— it’s punishing yourself. And you don’t deserve punishment. You deserve support. Go to one of these support groups. You might meet ur best bros there.— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2017
She asked him if he is “self-medicating” and encouraged him to go to a support group in his area.
These are support groups in San Antonio - everyone in these groups suffered sexual abuse. Go to one. Maybe it will be lame or suck but try one for me. Your friend the cunt who loves you:https://t.co/xQto3yomAw— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2017
The man revealed early trauma and mentioned chronic back pain. On top of urging him to seek support, she sought some for him, reaching out to her followers for help.
Yo SAN ANTONIO! Any kickass back/neck care specialists willing 2 help my friend @jeremy_jamrozy He has several slipped discs, no insurance, & can’t work bc of severe pain. Let’s get him back on his feet!! Who’s in?— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2017
And they came through.
Hey Sarah, just to let you know we’ve been in contact with Jeremy. We’re on it! 🙂— Airrosti (@Airrosti) December 30, 2017
Twitter, typically a place of hot takes and angry rants, of anonymous attacks and an unresponsive administration overseen by a baffling, ineffective anti-hate policy, suddenly met its match in a comedian who cares more about compassion than controversy.
This is honestly one of the nicest and truly decent gestures I’ve ever seen a human being, much less a celebrity, give to another human being. Your heart and character are as big as your talent.— Sean Wheeler (@MrSeanWheeler) December 29, 2017
Even Alan Alda, avatar of decency, weighed in:
Sarah, that was courageous and brave. You offered a helping hand instead of a fist. Bravo. .@SarahKSilverman— Alan Alda (@alanalda) January 6, 2018
Sarah Silverman's response to a Twitter troll is a master class in compassion https://t.co/uoiP22AwjU
Here’s hoping Sarah Silverman’s empathy is an example for all of us as we navigate what’s sure to be another bumpy year.