Louis C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct by five women in the New York Times last week, sparking discussions of what sexual misconduct and harassment entail and how misogynist culture enables such behavior.
On Thursday, Sarah Silverman made an emotional statement about the story in her Hulu show, I Love You, America. Saying that she’d been asked by others to comment, Silverman explained her original reluctance to do so. “But…if it’s mentionable, it’s manageable,” she reasoned. “So I’m going to address the elephant masturbating in the room.”
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“One of my best friends of over 25 years,, masturbated in front of women,” she began. “He wielded his power with women in fucked-up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely. 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? Yes, it is.”
Silverman openly explained how difficult it is to grapple with revelations of this nature about people you know and love: “It’s a real mindfuck, because I love Louis, 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?”
Other members of the comedy community, including performers like Marc Maron, have reflected on C.K.’s actions and the structural sexism in the industry. Silverman’s sister, Laura, tweeted last week about C.K.’s “compulsive” masturbation on a trip they took several years ago.
Watch the full clip above.