The sexual misconduct claims against Louis C.K. haven’t been easy for Sarah Silverman to digest. As the comedian explained to GQ for the magazine’s comedy issue, she hopes perpetrators of sexual harassment will be “forever changed” for the better, but she also considers Louis C.K. to be her “brother.”
“I think that there are people who were caught and there were people who were not caught, but the important thing is that they are forever changed,” Silverman, 47, began. “And if that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why they can’t continue being artists. Now, whether they’re popular artists or not is up to the audience.”
She continued: “I have compassion. There are people that just deny everything they’re accused of and they continue to be the politicians or the filmmakers that they are. And there are people that come and say, I’m guilty of these things, and I’m wrong, and I want to be changed from this. And yet those are the ones that kind of are excommunicated forever. He’s my brother, so it’s hard. I may not have a very clear perspective on it, but I’m trying to.”
Silverman and Louis C.K. have been friends in the industry for years, but then The New York Times in November published accounts from five women who claim he masturbated in front of them or while they spoke on the phone.
Louis C.K. released a statement following the report’s publication to admit “these stories are true.”
“The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly,” he said, in part. “I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. 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.”
Silverman addressed the situation on an episode of her Hulu show I Love You, America, saying Louis C.K. “wielded his power with women in f—ed-up ways.”
“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?” Silverman said. “Yes, it is. It’s a real mindf—. Because I love Louie. But Louie 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?”
Silverman also remarked to GQ about another friend, Aziz Ansari, 34, who was accused of sexual misconduct by an unidentified woman through a Babe.net article. The woman claimed she felt pressured into sexual activity that she classified as assault but he felt was consensual.
“I was just like, ‘Gross, I don’t wanna know that about Aziz!'” Silverman said. “Hopefully he’s dealing with things, looking inward, and will blossom from it.”
In a statement addressing the claims, Ansari had said, “It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
Various other actors and comedians — from Tig Notaro to Stephen Colbert to Dave Chapelle — have spoken out about Louis C.K. Edie Falco, who co-starred in his now-scrapped filmed I Love You, Daddy, hoped he would get a second chance. “He’s someone who admitted that he did what he was accused of doing and admitted that it wasn’t right,” she said. “If I was not given another chance a couple of times, there is no way we’d be having this interview right now. People who are committed to becoming aware of what they’ve done and changing, they can be our strongest proponents in an issue like this.”
As Silverman further commented to GQ, “People are very sure about what is right and wrong until it comes to their front door.”