Earlier this year, when Louis C.K. was featured in a sketch on SNL that was very similar to a Tig Notaro sketch, my first assumption was that Louis C.K. had probably gotten permission from Notaro to do it. They’re friends, right? He sold her break-out stand-up performance on his websites, and he’s an executive producer on her series, One Mississippi (one of the last year’s best shows).
Not so much, as it turns out. We found out later from Notaro that SNL straight-up stole the sketch.
First off, I have recently learned that a writer/director who was fully aware of ‘Clown Service’ when I was making it, actually worked on Louis C.K.’s clown sketch that is in question.
Secondly, Louis C.K. and I have not communicated in any way for nearly a year and a half.
And finally, I never gave anyone permission to use anything from my film.
I hesitated to even address any of this, but I think it is only right to defend my work and ideas and moving forward, I plan to continue screening ‘Clown Service’ with the joy and pride I always have.”
We have no idea why the relationship between Louis C.K. and Notaro soured, but it definitely did. In fact, Notaro wishes that Louis’ name weren’t on her show, which returns for a second season next month.
From The Daily Beast:
“He’s never been involved,” she clarifies. When I tell her that most people who watch the show probably assume he plays some role since he’s listed as an executive producer, she says, “I know they do.”
“It’s frustrating, because he has nothing to do with the show,” Notaro adds. And that frustration is apparent in her voice. “But I don’t waste my time on him or what anyone thinks. His name is on it. But we are writing the show, the writers’ room. We’re sitting in editing. We’re acting. We’re on set. We’re doing press. And everyone that’s directly involved in the show works very hard. They are decent, talented human beings. And I feel lucky to be surrounded by them.”
“But yeah, he has nothing to do with the show,” Notaro repeats for the third time, without using C.K.’s name.
Then there’s the matter of the sexual harassment/assault allegations against Louis C.K. that have been floating around for years. It’s very much an open secret, and no one wants to talk about it, except to say that they don’t want to talk about it. I don’t know that we need to rehash the whole history of this, but the long and short of it is that he apparently likes to masturbate in front of women against their will. We have no idea if this is why Notaro doesn’t talk to Louis C.K. anymore — she declines to provide specifics on their falling out — but she’s aware of the rumors. Notaro believes that Louis C.K. should get a handle on it.
“I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that, because it’s serious to be assaulted,” Notaro says in response. “It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious.”
“And that’s what we want to do with this show,” she continues. “We of course want to create comedy, but we also really, really feel like we have the opportunity to do something with One Mississippi, because it does not stop. And, you know, I walk around doing shows at comedy clubs and you just hear from people left and right of what some big-shot comedian or person has done. People just excuse it.”
In fact, this form of sexual assault will be taken up on the show’s second season. Notaro’s real-life wife Stephanie Allynne will play a character who has been assaulted but doesn’t want to confront it.
“I’ve had things happen to me and I didn’t even think I was being assaulted,” Allynne tells me. “I would just go, ugh, this guy, what a weirdo and move on. When you start to see those people rise in power and go to such extremes, you go, well if I allow this, what am I saying OK to?”
“It’s an ongoing issue and in the writers’ room we were very open about the different levels of harassment or assault that we’ve witnessed or experienced,” Notaro adds. “I think it’s despicable what people in power, or any people, when they do this.”
“People don’t believe that their idol or their friend can be…” she adds, seemingly unwilling to finish the sentence. “Yeah, they don’t believe it.”
I mean, I don’t want to draw any firm conclusions, but it sure sounds like the second season of One Mississippi, which is technically being executive produced by Louis C.K., will tackle an issue of which Louis C.K. has been accused, and it sure sounds like the show will feature a Louis C.K. type character.
One Mississippi returns early next month. Catch up on the first season on Amazon now. It really is an astounding, lovely, emotionally affecting, hopeful series (and a short binge-watch).
via The Daily Beast