(PCM) A company by the name of Levo League released a video PSA that featured comedienne Sarah Silverman talking candidly about the wage gap issues between men and women. In the video she shared a story about a time that she was paid less than a man for the same job and went as far as to name drop the club that was allegedly involved.
The owner of the comedy club mentioned was infuriated by the PSA and is disputing the story that Silverman told in the video. Silverman has now issued a public apology claiming that she regrets her mischaracterization of the situation.
The story Silverman told was about showing up to perform at set at the New York Comedy Club along with fellow comedian Todd Barry. She claims that her and Barry performed for the same exact amount of time at the same show, however Barry was paid $60 for the night and she was only paid $10. She went on to reveal that when she went the office of club owner Al Martin to question the difference in pay and he responded with “Oh, did you want a $60 spot?” Silverman said it was not the point that she needed $60, but it was more symbolic than anything else.
After the video PSA aired, club owner Al Martin posted on his clubs Facebook page that Silverman had only shown up at the club that night as a guest spot and was unannounced, unlike Barry who was actually booked ahead of time to perform that evening. Martin says that a guest spot does not require the same payment as someone who is booked, and the fact that he even gave her money at all was more than most clubs would do for an unannounced guest. He claims that Silverman must have “forgot that little fact”.
In her statement, Silverman says, “All I can say is I remember that story exactly how I said it. I know that Todd called the club earlier in the day to let them know I was in town if they wanted me to do a set. They put me up for a 15 min spot just after Todd’s 15 min spot. I didn’t expect to get paid, that’s not why I was there, but when I got off stage Al, the sweet club owner, paid me 10 bucks and I signed the payment sheet. I was like, oh, nice. I inferred from that that this was a paid spot not a guest spot. Either way I would have been fine. Then when Todd pointed out that he received 60 dollars for the same spot I went back inside and asked Al why Todd got sixty dollars and I got ten. That’s when he certainly could have said “Because it was a guest spot, Sarah. I was just being super nice and gave you ten dollars for cab money.” But instead, (and I will always remember this exactly how he said it because it was unbelievably hilarious) he said, “Oh- did you want a $60 spot?”
She goes on to say that she should not have mentioned Martin or the New York Comedy Club by name in the PSA and should have just shared a “faceless nameless anecdote” and that her story hardly reflects any true indication of wage gap issues. She added, “To Al, I truly am sorry to bring you into this as you employ women and pay them the same as the men I’m sure. To the maniacs who want to use this as a chit against women’s issues, I ask that you please don’t. Because that would be super sh*tty. Feel free to aim your vitriol at me but leave this issue of working women out of it, K?”
Since Silverman’s apology Martin has posted on Facebook again commending her for taking the step to apologize and that he “fully accepts” her apology. He says that she is welcome perform anytime at his Broadway Comedy Club, booked in advance or not!
You can watch Silverman’s full PSA below, which still remains on the Levo League YouTube channel, despite the controversy.