Comedian Sarah Silverman has addressed the admitted sexual misconduct of longtime friend Louis C.K., saying that “it’s vital that people are held accountable for their actions, no matter who they are.”
In an emotional monologue for her Hulu show I Love You, America, Silverman spoke about “the elephant masturbating in the room”: the fact C.K. “wielded his power with women in fucked-up ways” by non-consensually masturbating in front of women.
“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.”
After referencing the fact C.K.’s actions affected women to the point they withdrew from the comedy industry entirely, Silverman briefly mused if it was still possible for her to maintain a friendship with someone capable of such terrible actions.
“I love Louis, but Louis did these things,” Silverman said.
“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.”
Silverman’s statement echoes many of the sentiments put forward by comedian and podcaster Marc Maron, who questioned his own friendship with C.K. after The New York Times’ exposé.
“He’s my friend, and it’s a difficult position to be in because I certainly can’t condone anything he did,” Maron said on his WTF podcast on Monday.
“There was no way to justify it, no way to defend it, no way to apologize for him about it, no way to let him off the hook.”
Maron said that prior to the NYT article, he had heard rumours that C.K. had masturbated in front of two comedians in an Aspen, Colorado hotel room in 2002.
At the time, C.K. said the rumours were untrue, but that publicly denying them would grant them legitimacy. The comedians involved, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, later shared their story with the NYT.
Silverman did not state if she was aware of the allegations made against C.K. before his admission.
Watch her full monologue below: