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Sarah Silverman broke her silence on the actions of longtime friend Louis C.K. on Thursday, in a moving monologue before the latest episode of her Hulu talk show, "I Love You, America."
"This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming. 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," Silverman said of the recent spate of women coming forward to share their stories.
"And 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," Silverman continued.
"Let's just say it: I'm talking about Louis."
C.K. and Silverman's friendship has spanned more than 25 years, with the latter playing a fictionalized version of herself on the former's FX series, "Louie."
Silverman admitted that she wished she could not comment on the matter, that she could sit this round out.
Some, in fact, wondered whether Silverman was sitting this round out after her Friday appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher," which avoided the subject of C.K. altogether.
But Silverman buoyed herself with a Mr. Rogers quote that has become something of a mantra for the comedian: "If it's mentionable, it's manageable."
"I'm going to address the elephant masturbating in the room," Silverman said.
She started with the facts. One of her best friends had masturbated in front of women and wielded his power in messed-up ways, "sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely."
There was a heavy pause after Silverman said this, as if to allow the painful reality of her words room to breathe.
Silverman said she could talk about the good times she and C.K. have had together or that he's a great father, but that none of that is relevant to the conversation at hand. What matters right now, Silverman emphasized, are the victims.
"I hope it’s OK 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," Silverman said.
"I believe with all my heart that this moment in time is essential," Silverman concluded. "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 ... wait to be better."
After Silverman's three-minute monologue, the episode continued as scheduled, with a focus on hate speech in America and reversing radicalism.
This week's episode of "I Love You, America" will be available to stream on Hulu at 3 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.