Sarah Silverman opened her Hulu show I Love You, America this week with a statement about sexual assault, making specific reference to her friend Louis C.K.’s admission of sexual misconduct.
In her monologue, Silverman disparages C.K.’s behavior without totally distancing herself from him as a friend. She admits she’s still processing the news and that she’d rather not have to comment on it but feels compelled. She starts by stating, “You’ve probably heard what’s happening in the news recently regarding sexual assault, especially in the entertainment industry and, to be clear, it’s not just Hollywood, it’s everywhere. This stuff happens in bakeries, too. It’s just not getting written up in The New York Times.”
Silverman then goes on to explain the difficulty of reckoning with accused men who are widely beloved or revered. “This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming. It’s good. It’s like cutting out tumors—it’s messy, and it’s complicated, and it is going to hurt, but it’s necessary and we’ll all be healthier for it,” she says. “And it sucks. And some of our heroes will be taken down and we will discover bad things about people we like, or in some cases, people we love.”
The part about Louis C.K. is where she starts to get visibly choked up and says, “I wish I could sit this one out, but then I remembered something I said on this very show that if it’s mentionable it’s manageable, so I’m going to mention the elephant masturbating in the room.”
Here’s her full statement about C.K.:
“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., masturbated in front of women. 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. It’s a real mind fuck, you know, 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? Can you still love them?’
“I can mull that over later certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims. They are victims, and they are victims because of something he did. So 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. 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.”
Silverman doesn’t specify whether she’d known about the allegations before Louis C.K. confirmed them.