“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 recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming,” she continued. “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 have been taken down. And we will discover bad things about people we like. Or in some cases, people we love.”
She could have been talking about her former Saturday Night Live colleague Al Franken, who was accused of groping a woman on Thursday. But since Silverman’s show was taped before today’s news broke, she was referring to somebody else.
“Let’s just say it, I’m talking about Louis,” she said of Louis C.K., who admitted to masturbating in front of several women last week. In “full honesty,” Silverman said she really does not want to comment on her fellow comedian’s disturbing history. “I wish I could sit this one out,” she said, sounding on the verge of tears. But then she remembered the mission of her show and decided to “address the elephant masturbating in the room.”
“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., masturbated in front of women,” she said. “He wielded his power with women in fucked up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely.”
“It’s a real mindfuck,” Silverman added. “Because I love Louis, but Louis did these things. Both of these statements are true, so I just keep asking myself: ‘Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?’”
“The only people that matter right now are the victims. They are 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’s my friend,” she continued. “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 appeared at least three times as herself on C.K.’s FX series Louie and has appeared on the same stand-up stages as him for decades. She also has a close relationship with Sen. Franken, starting when she was a performer on Saturday Night Live at the same time he was a writer in the mid-1990s and continuing until they appeared together at the Democratic National Convention last summer in an attempt to foster solidarity between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters.
Just two weeks ago, they ate sandwiches and reminisced about the old days in a segment for her Hulu show, I Love You, America. No doubt she will be forced to acknowledge that elephant in the coming days.