Sarah Silverman Apologizes for Story About Gender Gap Disparity
Sarah Silverman has apologized for her story about the gender pay gap.
— -- Sarah Silverman is used to getting laughs, but this morning the comedienne is being called out for telling a story about being affected by the gender pay gap -- and the man on the other side of the story is disputing Silverman’s account.
Silverman told the story in a video for the women’s rights group, Levo League. In the video posted to YouTube on April 6, the 44-year-old Silverman claimed she was paid less than a male comic for an appearance at the New York Comedy Club in Manhattan.
She said the owner, Al Martin, paid her $10 for performing for the same duration of time as her male counterpart who happened to be a friend.
“I asked the owner Al Martin, I said ‘Al -- why did you pay me $10 dollars and you gave Todd Barry $60 dollars?’” she said in the video, adding that Martin’s move was “pretty sh**y.”
Martin has made his own video to respond to Silverman’s allegations. In his video, he called Silverman's claim over the incident from about 15 years ago "absolutely false" and explained that she got less money because she had not been booked to perform that night.
“You were a guest spot ... Todd Barry was a booked spot that night” he said, adding that Barry was paid after his spot.
When Silverman came back and asked for pay, Martin said, “I felt bad. You were starting to get some stuff on TV and I didn’t want to have a bad relation with you so I decided to give you some cab fare. Apparently you misunderstood that ..."
In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Martin -- who now owns the Broadway Comedy Club and Greenwich Village Comedy Club, both in New York -- described his reaction when he heard Silverman’s comments.
“I almost dropped my hot coffee on the floor. ... It was hurtful, it was not true,” he said.
Silverman is now calling the whole thing a big misunderstanding, saying in a statement to Salon.com that, when she did the spot, she didn’t expect to get paid.
“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,” she said, adding that when she learned that Barry had been paid $60, she went back inside the club to ask Martin about the difference. “My regret is that I mentioned Al by name- it should have been a nameless, faceless anecdote and he has always been lovely to me. This is also HARDLY an example of the wage gap and can only do that very true reality a terrible disservice if I were trying to make it one.”
Reacting to Silverman’s statement, Martin told ABC News: “A sincere apology - and maybe I'm old-school – would’ve been a private phone call or something to say ‘Hey Al, I'm really sorry all this had to happen.’"