Sarah Silverman breaks her silence on close friend Louis CK in emotional monologue
After the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein came out, there has been a huge influx of other claims made about abuses of power in the entertainment industry. More women and men are finding the bravery to come forward after seeing many of these allegations being taken seriously rather than swept under the rug, as unfortunately seemed to have been the usual response in the past.
The latest person accused of crimes of sexual harassment and misconduct is comedian Louis CK, but his story was a little different than many that have come to the surface recently. The New York Times published a report that detailed multiple allegations of abusive behaviour, which included masturbating in front of women without their consent.
The difference comes from the fact that these rumours have been circulating for a number of years, with two articles written about it by Gawker in 2012 and 2015. Yet in an unexpected development to this case, Louis CK came forward with a statement admitting that the stories were true:
"The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
"I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
"I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
"There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with."
A number of his upcoming projects, including his new movie "I Love You, Daddy" have been abruptly canceled, and existing ones have been removed from various streaming services. Now one of his closest friends, comedian Sarah Silverman, has come forward to speak about her own feelings on the matter.
On this week's episode of her show I Love You, America, she delivered an emotional opening monologue where she discussed one of her "best friends of over 25 years". She starts off by talking about the atmosphere of the moment, and makes it clear that the fact that so many people are coming forward with stories of sexual harassment is a good thing:
"This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming; it's good. It's like cutting out tumours, 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.
"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."
She then moves on to talk about Louis CK, who she has asked to comment about given their close relationship. She says she didn't want to, but eventually realised she had to "address the elephant masturbating in the room", but speaks to how her anger is complicated by her love for her friend:
"One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis CK, masturbated in front of women. He wielded his power with women in f*cked up ways, sometimes to the point that they left comedy entirely.
"I could couch this with heartwarming stories about friendship and what a great dad he is, but that's totally irrelevant. It's a real mind-f*ck because I love Louis, but Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true.
"I keep asking myself: 'Can you love someone who did bad things?'
"The only people that matter right now are the victims [...] and they're victims because of something he did. 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 is my friend"
While this is no doubt a difficult time for both the victims who have come out and those like Sarah Silverman, who have discovered that a loved one has behaved in a hurtful and damaging way, she does have some hope for the future:
"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*cking wait to be better."
There is an upside to all these horrible stories that are coming out - shining a light on them will lead others to act differently, and hopefully give us the awareness to call out this behaviour ourselves, and believe the victims who come forward.