Sarah Silverman On Why She Appeared In ‘Imagine’ Video: ‘Couldn’t Say No’

Sarah Silverman has some regrets about that ill-advised “Imagine” video that came out as the coronavirus began to spread across the U.S. Mostly because she knew it was going to fail from the beginning.

The comedian spoke to Andy Cohen about her involvement in the widely-panned project, in which celebrities such as Gal Gadot, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Natalie Portman, Kristen Wiig, Amy Adams, Zoe Kravitz, Mark Ruffalo, James Marsden and more sang along to the iconic John Lennon tune.

Silverman said that she’d done a movie with Gadot, but was contacted by Wiig to participate.

“Kristen Wiig is the shit, you know, but she emailed me and she goes, ‘Well, we’re all gonna sing ‘Imagine,’” the comedian recalled on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy Monday.

“I wrote her back and I go ‘Imagine,’ really?’ And then I go, ‘is it for a thing? Is it, what’s the call to action?’ And she, and she, and she’s so sweet, you know? I mean, she’s so funny,” Silverman said. “And she goes, ‘it’s just to like cheer people up.’”

“And then I couldn’t say no, because one, it was the beginning of quarantine,” she said of the video, which came out in mid-March. “Like there’s no saying no to anyone because you can’t, there’s no excuse for it.”

Silverman said while she couldn’t back out, she tried to make her part “funny at least.” And after the video went viral for all the wrong reasons, she received an apology from Wiig.

“It’s funny because she emailed me after and she’s like, ‘I’m so sorry,’” the “Wreck It Ralph” actor said. “It was well-intentioned, but yeah, a little tone-deaf. It really came from a nice place I think.”

When Cohen asked if Silverman was surprised at all by the clip’s backlash, she simply answered “No.”

Silverman wasn't surprised by the backlash from the video. 
Silverman wasn’t surprised by the backlash from the video./Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Gadot recently defended the video in an interview for Vanity Fair’s November issue, saying that the intent was “good and pure.”

“Sometimes, you know, you try and do a good deed and it’s just not the right good deed. I had nothing but good intentions and it came from the best place, and I just wanted to send light and love to the world,” Gadot told the magazine.

“I started with a few friends, and then I spoke to Kristen [Wiig],” she added. “Kristen is like the mayor of Hollywood. Everyone loves her, and she brought a bunch of people to the game. But yeah, I started it, and I can only say that I meant to do something good and pure, and it didn’t transcend.”

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