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Sarah Silverman Delivers A Moving, Fair Take On Louis CK

NY Times- Sarah Silverman became the latest prominent comedian to grapple publicly with a New York Times report in which several women described acts of sexual misconduct that Louis C.K. had engaged in. He subsequently admitted that their accounts were true.

In a new episode of her Hulu series, “I Love You, America,” to be released Thursday, Ms. Silverman delivered an emotional opening monologue in which she spoke about Louis C.K., who has been a longtime friend and colleague of hers, and she wondered aloud: “Can you love someone who did bad things?”

Sarah Silverman concluded her monologue by saying, “I hope it’s O.K. 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.”

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This was well-said from Sarah Silverman. We’re a week removed from the revelations of Louis’ masturbatory exhibitionism, and as a fan, I am still figuring out how I feel about the whole thing. Silverman is in an incredibly difficult position as one of his close friends–she’s appeared on his FX show countless times and they’ve worked together on the road a ton. But she’s also an outspoken voice on gender issues, always fearless about stating her opinion and attacking topics in her standup that many would be afraid to address. I admire her immensely because I found this fair to both sides. She doesn’t bury Louis by piling on and distancing herself from him, but she also acknowledges the horror of his behavior and speaks to the women who endured it. It was a classy monologue from a great comedian.

You can see how conflicted she is. “Can you love someone who did bad things?” Well, I think so. Time heals all wounds. I can’t imagine a world where Louis doesn’t make a comeback. It’s going to take a lot of time, grace, humility, and incredible writing. Because the moment he steps back on stage, he’s going to have to address the whole thing and somehow make it funny without seeming flippant or dismissive.

I keep wondering what he’s doing right now. A comedian of his stature can’t stand to be off stage for more than like, a day or two. How long will it be before he can step on stage again? How will that first audience react to him? Will he get booed from the start? How do you write funny material about yourself sexually harassing women, and in this climate? I suppose the good news is that if anyone can find a way to do it, it’s Louis. If I had jerked off in front of a bunch of women, there’s no chance in hell I could make a comeback. It’d be curtains for old Franny Boy and it’s not like I could go back to tutoring… scary stuff!