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Sarah Silverman: “Can you love someone who did bad things?”

Last night, Sarah Silverman opened the latest episode of her series, I Love You, America with an emotional monologue about her close friend Louis C.K.’s admission to gross sexual misconduct earlier this week.

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“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., 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.”

This comes after last week’s, New York Times article, which revealed Louis C.K. had exposed himself and masturbated in front of five women during his career as a comedian and actor. Louis released a statement in response, admitting the statements were true.

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In her speech, Sarah made it clear that while she was still struggling with the idea, she realises her focus should not be on Louis right now. “It’s a real mindfuck, you know, because I love Louis,” she said. “But Louis did these things… I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims.”

Sarah also addressed the wider situation the entertainment industry faces in the wake of numerous sexual abuse and misconduct allegations against influential figures, including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. “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 poignantly recognised that “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.”

Since Louis C.K.’s admission, he has been dropped by his management and publicist, while cable network FX Networks (which airs four comedies produced by Louis) has ended all ties with the comedian. Plus, his upcoming film I Love You Daddy has been cancelled for release. The film has already caused controversy due to its depiction of a much older filmmaker’s obsession with a teenage girl. The film’s New York premiere was also axed just hours before it was set to take place.

Despite her 25-year friendship with Louis C.K., Sarah closed her speech with an important message: that these situations cannot be ignored any longer, and people guilty of similar offences must be found out.

“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 that 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.”

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