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NME Festival blog: Sarah Silverman addresses Louis CK sexual misconduct scandal: “Can you love someone who did bad things?”


Sarah Silverman has spoken about the sexual misconduct scandal involving her friend and fellow comedian Louis CK, saying: “I love Louis. But Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true”.

Last week (November 9), CK was accused of sexual misconduct by five women. It was claimed that CK had pressured women, including female comedians, to watch and listen to him masturbate. After initially declining to comment, CK eventually issued a public statement the following day (November 10), saying that the “stories are true” and that he has “been remorseful of my actions”.

In a clip from her I Love You, America Hulu series, Silverman says that the “calling-out of sexual assault” has been “a long time coming”, adding: “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.”

She then adds: “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. Let’s just say that I’m talking about Louis.”

“Of course I’ve been asked to comment and in full honestly, I really, really, really don’t want to,” Silverman continues. “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.”

Louis CK

Louis CK

Silverman goes on to say: “One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis CK, 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 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. 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.”

Watch in the clip below:

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart and Marc Maron have also responded to the scandal.

Following the allegations levelled at Louis CK, it was confirmed that the release of CK’s upcoming movie I Love You, Daddy has been cancelled, while HBO, Netflix and FX have also cut ties with the star. TBS have also announced CK’s animated series The Cops would be “suspended until further review”.

In his apology statement, the comedian said he had “tried to learn from” his actions, as well as “run from them”. “Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions,” he said. “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.”



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