Sarah Silverman addressed Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct in the opening of this week’s episode of her Hulu series “I Love You, America.”
“This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming,” Silverman said. “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. 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.”
Silverman was clearly emotional as she spoke, appearing to fight back tears multiple times as she went on to describe her friend C.K.’s behavior.
“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., masturbated in front of women,” she continued. “He wielded his power with women in f—ed 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 mindf—, 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 that 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 f—ing wait to be better.”
The New York Times published a piece last Thursday alleging that C.K. had repeatedly asked women he encountered in work-related environments to watch him masturbate.
Among the women who went on the record with allegations against the comedian and TV producer were comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov. They state in the story that he invited them to his hotel room during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., in 2002 and then stripped naked and began to masturbate. The women described themselves as being “paralyzed” during the incident and running out of the hotel room after C.K. ejaculated.
“These stories are true,” C.K. said in a statement after the Times story was released. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d— without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d— isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The backlash against C.K. was almost immediate. FX, the network home of C.K.’s acclaimed sitcom “Louie,” announced on Friday that they were severing all ties with him, as did his management company 3 Arts Entertainment. In addition, the network said he would receive no further compensation for any of the shows he produced at the network. That includes “Louie,” “Better Things,” and “Baskets.” In addition, film distributor The Orchard dropped C.K.’s new film “I Love You, Daddy” shortly before it was due to be released in theaters.