In November 2017, The New York Times published an explosive piece in which several women revealed that Louis C.K. had masturbated in front of them without their consent.
In response to the article, the comedian published a public apology in which he admitted that “these stories are true.” However, he also claimed that “at the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my [penis] without asking first, which is also true,” so many believed that his apology was insufficient as it still contradicted his accuser’s stories regarding consent.
In his apology, he vowed to “now step back and take a long time to listen,” which he did. But when he made a surprise appearance at a popular New York comedy club in late August, outrage erupted as many believed his comeback was way too premature.
Now, his longtime friend and fellow comedian Sarah Silverman has revealed that he did indeed masturbate in front of her—and consensually.
“I don’t know if I’m going to regret saying this,” Silverman told Howard Stern during his SiriusXM radio show on Monday, “I’ve known Louis forever, I’m not making excuses for him, so please don’t take this that way. We are peers. We are equals. When we were kids, and he asked if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go… ‘yeah I want to see that!’ … It’s not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them…He could offer me nothing. We were only just friends. So sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it, it was amazing. Sometimes I would say… ‘no, gross,’ and we got pizza.”
However, Silverman admitted that when he became a celebrity within the world of comedy, the power dynamics of this kind of scenario significantly shifted.
“I’m not saying what he did was OK. I’m just saying at a certain point, when he became influential, not even famous, but influential in the world of comedy, it changes. He felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not OK.”
Lous C.K. alluded to the same point in his public apology when he wrote, “What I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your [penis] isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions.”
Nonetheless, the response to her comments so far on social media have not been positive.
I’m still thinking about Sarah Silverman bringing up her own consensual encounters with Louis CK and omg, the fact that she felt the need to muddy the discussion with that makes me so mad.
— Beverly Crusher’s Ghost Boyfriend (@LuxAlptraum) October 22, 2018
And for more recent news touching on the #MeToo movement, read up on how Julia Louis-Dreyfus Slams Brett Kavanaugh in Awards Speech.
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