Sarah Silverman on Thursday joined the chorus of prominent comedians confronting the controversy around Louis C.K. after he admitted allegations of sexual misconduct, including that he masturbated in front of female comedians without their consent, were true.
In this week’s episode of her Hulu show “I Love You, America,” Silverman used the cold open to discuss her feelings about C.K., who she called “one of my best friends of over 25 years.”
“I love Louis,” Silverman said. “But Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true, so I just keep asking myself, ‘Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?’ I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims.”
She started the emotional monologue by admitting that she would rather not discuss the situation at all.
“I’ve, of course, been asked to comment, and in full honesty I really, really, really don’t want to. I wish I could sit this one out,” Silverman said. “But then I remembered something I said on this very show, that if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable. So I’m going to address the elephant masturbating in the room.”
She said the current wave of women coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault “has been a long time coming.” Silverman praised the movement, and explained why she has had a tough time speaking out about this particular instance of misconduct.
“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C. K., masturbated in front of women,” she said in the clip. “He wielded his power with women in f—ed-up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely.”
Silverman added that her memories of the famous comedian are not helpful in this conversation. “I could couch this with heartwarming stories of our friendship and what a great dad he is, but that’s totally irrelevant isn’t it?” she asked rhetorically.
Toward the end of her monologue, Silverman told her audience she has been feeling multiple ways about the controversy but said she hopes the world is improving.
“I hope it’s OK if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, and also sad because he’s my friend,” Silverman said. “But I believe with all my heart that this moment in time is essential. It’s vital that people are held accountable for their actions no matter who they are. We need to be better. We will be better. I can’t f—ing wait to be better.”