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Sarah Silverman on Louis C.K.: ‘Can You Love Someone Who Did Bad Things?’

Comedian addresses sexual misconduct accusations leveled against longtime friend, collaborator

Sarah Silverman grappled with the accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against her longtime friend and collaborator Louis C.K. in a moving monologue on her Hulu program, I Love You, America

“It’s a real mindfuck, you know, because I love Louis,” Silverman said. “But Louis did these things. … 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 noted at the beginning of her monologue that the ongoing deluge of sexual assault callouts “has been a long time coming,” and though it’s messy, “we’ll all be healthier for it.” Still, she admitted that she was reluctant to discuss the allegations against C.K. after multiple women accused him of masturbating in front of them without consent. C.K. has since apologized and admitted “these stories are true.”

“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C. K., masturbated in front of women,” Silverman said. “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.”

At the end of her monologue, Silverman admitted that she would have to continue to grapple with the conflicting emotions she felt over C.K.’s behavior, even as she remained steadfastly on the side of the victims and other women coming forward with their own stories. “So I hope it’s okay 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,” she 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 fucking wait to be better.”

While Silverman’s response was deeply personal, she did not mention the story her sister, Laura Silverman, shared about C.K. allegedly masturbating in front of her on multiple occasions during a cross-country road trip. While Laura Silverman said she did not consider C.K.’s behavior towards her criminal – partly because they’d been dating, and partly because they’d been sharing hotel rooms and he’d told her she could wait outside – she said she found it “compulsive, rude and gross.” Silverman added that she felt “compelled at this point to be a character witness of sorts for those brave enough to finally come forward.”

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