In the comedy community, 3 Arts’s Dave Becky was known as a powerful manager who represented such big-name stars as Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, and Louis C.K. But in the wake of the bombshell report the New York Times dropped about C.K.’s history with masturbating in front of female co-workers, Becky has become a kind of creep by association. In part, because the Times piece noted of two victims “they said they understood from their managers that Mr. Becky, Louis C.K’s manager, wanted them to stop telling people about their encounter with Louis C.K.”
In that article, Becky defended himself by saying, “I don’t recall the exact specifics of the conversation, but know I never threatened anyone.” But the suggestion made is that as one of the most powerful managers in comedy, threats were unnecessary. The very idea of being on his bad side implied your career would be thwarted. Because Becky is a producer too, working on shows like Master of None, Broad City, Insecure and Bored To Death. Shows, which comedians Julia Wolov and Dana Min Goodman, who were among the women who came forward in the NYT story, felt they shouldn’t even bother applying for, assuming Becky would block their path. And frankly, who could blame them for making such an assumption?
Becky’s reputation took a hit for allegedly covering for the comedian and having a hand in silencing his victims. But what does the comedy community make of this? Seeking a comment on the well-connected manager/producer, Huffington Post reached out to 20 comedians including Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, Pamela Adlon, Nasim Pedrad, Horatio Sanz, John Mulaney, Paul W. Downs, Nick Thune, Tom Papa, Bill Burr, Betsy Sodaro, Issa Rae, Paul Brittain, Matt Besser, Dave Attell, Maya Rudolph, Natasha Lyonne, Jake Johnson and Bo Burnham.
Not a single one responded to their request. However, over the weekend, Adlon, who co-created Better Things and co-starred in Louie opposite C.K., dropped Becky as her manager. It was only hours after she had issued a statement, where she expressed shock and “deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward.”
To his credit, Becky—or at least 3Arts—dropped C.K. But after these women’s stories went public, dropping him was the very least Becky could do. Yesterday, he seemed to realize this, issuing a statement that he hopes will give “context.” You can read it below, courtesy of Deadline:
I profoundly regret and am deeply sorry for not listening to and not understanding what happened to Dana and Julia. If I had, I would have taken this event as seriously as it deserved to be, and I would have confronted Louis, which would have been the right thing to do.
I am providing this context so that others do not make the same mistake I did. At that time, I heard the story third-hand, and I interpreted the conversation as two women telling a story about a sexual encounter with a then-married Louis. Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual. I misperceived the casual way this story was portrayed to me — instead I should have recognized that it must have been a mask for their unease and discomfort in the face of his detestable behavior. My intent was to seek discretion to protect what I thought was a matter of infidelity. I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.
In hindsight, I was operating blindly from a one-sided place of privilege. Until last week, I knew only of this one isolated incident. Although this may sound naive, it is true. Never once, in all of these years, did anyone mention any of the other incidents that were reported recently — I am appalled to learn of these. I have come to realize my status wielded an atmosphere where such news did not reach me, or worse yet, that it seemed such news did not matter to me. It does. It matters tremendously.
I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.
It’s well-written and seems sincere. But is it enough that you believe him? And is it enough that the public and the press will stop entreating Becky’s clients—especially those who promote female empowerment like Poehler—to make a statement or drop him outright?
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