How did the comedy community respond when one of their most acclaimed and beloved stars was outed for sexual misconduct? Here are the good, the bad, and the holy fuck that’s awful responses to the Louis C.K. news.
A few days ahead of the NYT story breaking, Chris Rock did a set where he “joked” that he can’t hire women because “[Women] cry rape because they want money.” He’s made no statement since, regarding C.K. or anything else. (IndieWire)
Here are responses from comedians after the story hit:
wow— ROSIE (@Rosie) November 9, 2017
i guess nothing will ever surprise me again
Louis C.K. - https://t.co/brUoHJT78y
I've been friends with Louis CK for a long time. I read the article and none of it is good. I'll have more to say about it on my own show and not a shitty platform like Twitter.— marc maron (@marcmaron) November 10, 2017
I️ have immense respect for the women who spoke out about the degrading and disgusting situations that Louis C.K. chose to drag them into…— John Mulaney (@mulaney) November 10, 2017
Louie is the show— Rhea “get rid of Nazis on here” Butcher 🇵🇷 (@RheaButcher) November 9, 2017
Louis CK is the monster
I was told to delete a tweet I wrote about Louis CK abusing women before I applied to a high-profile comedy job because the people conducting the hiring process might not like it. These women who have spoken up are brave, and we owe them so much.https://t.co/yECc41l1Uz— Nicole Silverberg (@nsilverberg) November 9, 2017
Fuck yes they're brave. NO MORE SILENCING. https://t.co/8WnMUR6lZf— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) November 9, 2017
goodnight daddy :-)— Megan Amram (@meganamram) November 9, 2017
For everybody asking, I know and like Louis C.K. I won't defend him. This is inexcusable and he needs to address it. https://t.co/wyA5ImeDO7— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 9, 2017
Gentlemen, comedy is often inappropriate. It is sometimes daring and audacious and shocking. But our behavior, in the real world, toward women - that doesn’t get a pass on inappropriate.— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) November 9, 2017
Though he apologized for his one time comment to me, I will no longer casually call Louie a friend. I can't support what I now KNOW are his contributions to the power dynamic in this business.— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) November 9, 2017
That night at the Comedy Cellar, Gregg Rogell said onstage, “In Louis’ defense, he’s practicing safe sex, so leave him alone.” Jim Norton said (among other eye-rolling things), “I honestly don’t know any of the people attached to it, so I don’t know if they’re credible or not, but again, if five people say it, it’s like you’ve gotta think about it at least.” (Vulture)
The following day, C.K. issued a statement that confirmed the women’s accounts. Comedians responded on Twitter (though not Rogell or Norton):
“I finally see how deeply my actions have affected other people emotionally since they are now affecting me financially.”— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) November 10, 2017
Louis CK’s apology leaves a lot to be desired. For example, I “desire” a time machine so I can go back and tell him not to masturbate in front of those women.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 10, 2017
It’s 2:09PM, I have 4% battery & I’m pissed. pic.twitter.com/3juyjoijSK— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) November 10, 2017
(Yes, Lena Heady is not a comedian, but we weren’t leaving this out.)
Louis CK. The words you wrote are a shitshow of narcissistic cock soup.— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) November 11, 2017
And then Damon Wayans Jr. made a bad, bad joke.
not making shitty jokes that minimize and trivialize sexual assault is truly the *least* all of us in comedy can do. be better than this. pic.twitter.com/J7i7h1G7Ut— Jen Statsky (@jenstatsky) November 11, 2017
He deleted it, explained why, but has not apologized.
Jen Kirkman, who believed C.K.’s victims before they went public, shared how her saying so made her a target of the press. Thread.
Amy Miller called out Jim Jeffries for sexual misconduct, noting a story he tells in a special from LAST YEAR.
Its not just Louis. At 51:00 listen to @jimjefferies talk about watching a famous comic try to rape some teen girls, just before he himself "aggressively" shoves his cock in one of the girls' faces. THIS IS A JOKE IN A SPECIAL. https://t.co/EBNZbYAYFu— Amy Miller (@amymiller) November 9, 2017
Here’s the video cued up. Warning, it’ll make your veins pump with rage.
Though Miller @ed Jeffries, he has not responded on Twitter.
Update: Reader PP has brought to our attention that Jeffries did touch on this kind of humor last month on The Jim Jeffries Show in response to the Weinstein scandal. He does not refer to this specific bit above, but says in part, “I was stupid to think that people like Harvey Weinstein were rare…I thought I was a pretty good guy what with all the not raping I’d done. But it turns out that’s not enough.” The relevant bit begins at 5:07.
you have to separate the (sexual abuser) artist from the art (he made about being a sexual abuser)— Jen Statsky (@jenstatsky) November 10, 2017
Guy Branam noted that it was a Boys’ Club that protected the masturbating comedian while excluding women and queer comedians. He’s calling for C.K.’s fall to be the end of this exclusive and problematic environment. (Vulture)
Another thing I think about a lot: how often straight male comics' eccentricities are treated as evidence of genius and how often everyone else's eccentricities are treated as liabilities.— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) November 10, 2017
Laurie Kilmartin shared what it’s like to be a female comedian in Louis C.K.’s world. She writes in her essay, “The truth is, if you are a woman in most professions, there are a bunch of extra rungs on your ladder to success.” (NYT)
Beautifully written and clear as a bell 4 anyone looking to understand or be mindful or be changed by some solid truths. Not everyone may be aware of these things, but now you can https://t.co/3264nlPNZV— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) November 10, 2017
Kath Barbadoro recounts the time she made a joke onstage about what was then C.K. rumors, and what it taught her about “open secrets.” (WaPo)
We’re going to end with Jenny Yang, who is tired of hearing people yelp over the art we’ll not see from abusers.
Stop worrying about the art these abusers won't get to make. GET OUTRAGED over all the art WE NEVER SAW from women and non-cisdudes who were pushed out by a hostile culture.— Jenny Yang👲👲🏽🐉 (@jennyyangtv) November 10, 2017
IMAGINE ALL THE AMAZING ART WE HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT ON.
THIS IS OUR TIME YOU FUCKFACES.