Sarah Silverman weighed in on the #MeToo movement’s lasting effects on accused predators, and, as she has several friends in the mix, explained that she doesn’t see why “they can’t continue being artists” — as long as they’ve learned a lesson.
The comedian, 47, told GQ that she’s spoken to “her brother” Louis C.K. since he admitted to openly masturbating in front of female comedians, and that she sees potential for the disgraced star to stage a comeback.
“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. And if that’s the case, I don’t see any reason they can’t continue being artists,” she said.
Silverman added that she had “compassion” for artists attempting to wade back into industry waters, as she believes they’ve at least taken the step of admitting their wrongdoings.
“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,” she said. “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. (C.K. is) my brother, so it’s hard.”
She also lent a sympathetic thought to Aziz Ansari, who the comedian says she hopes will look “inward, and will blossom” after facing accusations of sexual misconduct.
Silverman also weighed in on the accusations facing her former “Saturday Night Live” colleague Al Franken, who stepped down as a Minnesota senator in December after eight women accused him of inappropriate touching.
“I understand that I may have cognitive distortion, because I love him so much. But all I can say is, and he may not be excited about this, but he has no sexuality,” Silverman said. “I believe in my heart of heart of hearts he never copped a feel.”
Despite the fact that one of Franken’s accusers, Leeann Tweeden, captured the alleged Franken grope in a photo that featured her asleep on a military plane, Silverman says it was “innocuous.”
“He may have touched some sideboob by accident, or a tush by accident, but I’m telling you, (wife) Franni is his best friend and constant companion, and he has eyes for no one else,” she said. “I’m so sad that he got bullied into resigning, because all he loved in this world was being a senator and representing the people of Minnesota. I’ve never met a more pure person.”
Meanwhile, Silverman isn’t too proud to admit to indiscretions of her own — namely, a 2007 sketch on her TV series “The Sarah Silverman Program” that was shot entirely in blackface.
“Comedy by nature is not at all evergreen. So if you’re doing it right, you look back at your old stuff and you’re horrified,” she told GQ. “I don’t stand by the blackface sketch. I’m horrified by it, and I can’t erase it. I can only be changed by it and move on.”
In the episode, she and a waiter in a restaurant switch races after arguing whether it’s harder to be Jewish or to be black.
Looking back, Silverman says she was “praised” at the time for the politically incorrect humor, and felt she got away with it simply because she was just playing a character.
“That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism. I don’t get joy in that anymore. It makes me feel yucky. All I can say is that I’m not that person anymore,” she said. “I’m just fundamentally different.”