This post has been updated.
On Thursday afternoon, the New York Times released a story about sexual harassment allegations against comedian Louis C.K. Most big-name comedians have remained silent on the subject so far, but others in the entertainment industry are reacting, and let’s just say there isn’t a lot of shock over the accusations that the “Louie” creator allegedly masturbated in front of multiple women.
Rumors about C.K. had been circulating for years, most explicitly in a Defamer story written in 2015. So when the premiere of the comedian’s new movie, “I Love You Daddy,” was canceled along with an appearance on Stephen Colbert, something was clearly up. That something was the Times exposé with allegations from five women.
We are, I am guessing, hours from all the Louis CK stories breaking and I will admit, this one, I've been waiting for.
— roxane gay (@rgay) November 9, 2017
— Sean L. McCarthy (@thecomicscomic) November 9, 2017
As the article recounted, women in the comedy industry who were allegedly harassed by C.K. were open about what happened to them. And yet, people didn’t want to hear what they had to say.
“Guys were backing away from us,” Julia Wolov said in the story. Wolov alleges that, while at a comedy festival in 2002, she and a friend were invited to C.K.’s hotel room, where he disrobed and masturbated in front of them. The next day, when the two women started telling other comedians what had happened, “we could already feel the backlash.”
Other women are chiming in with similar stories about being silenced.
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
Jen Kirkman, who has been linked to C.K. allegations for years — though she insisted more recently that he never exposed himself to her — also weighed in.
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
Even “Parks and Recreation” co-creator Michael Schur admitted that he knew about the rumors but cast C.K. anyway. On Twitter, he expressed remorse over that decision.
I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
“Seinfeld” comedian Jason Alexander also delivered a Twitter PSA to other men in comedy.
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
And Judd Apatow lamented the way harassment forces talented people to give up on the industry.
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) November 10, 2017
Meanwhile, actor James Urbaniak dug up an old Q&A with Jon Stewart, in which an audience member asks why Stewart didn’t ask C.K. about harassment allegations on “The Daily Show.” (Stewart pleaded ignorance.)
May 2016: Jon Stewart is asked about the Louis CK accusations, then laughs at the questioner & makes fun of the internet (1:13:52). Quaint and enabling responses from a different time. https://t.co/DG58LRSqrH
— James Urbaniak (@JamesUrbaniak) November 9, 2017
And some other takes from writers and comedians:
Much respect to @TheRebeccaCorry , Dana Min Goodman, Julia Wolov & Abby Schachner for having the bravery to speak up about the abuses & crimes that happened to them.
— Judah Friedlander (@JudahWorldChamp) November 9, 2017
i guess nothing will ever surprise me again
Louis C.K. – https://t.co/brUoHJT78y
— ROSIE (@Rosie) November 9, 2017
it's so disappointing to say farewell to my comedic hero, louis ck, the guy who engineers his entire life around cramming the n-word into his overrated comedy routines. I was really rooting for him. an absolute inspiration.
— Mitra Jouhari (@tweetrajouhari) November 9, 2017
Louis CK, Roy Moore, it's like one every half hour now. MAYBE IT FINALLY IS THE END OF MEN.
— Hanna Rosin (@HannaRosin) November 9, 2017