Louis C.K. Responds to the Allegations: "These Stories Are True"

Comments

1
Still too much about himself and his embarrassment. Make the best apology you can, fix anything you can fix, and then stop talking.

Well, he's a cut above Roy Moore.
2
There was no way someone as smart and self-aware as Louis CK didn't know what he was doing was wrong (while doing it)
3
@1, rape is rape...I don't care if you are a sleazy Republican or a mayor that helped make same sex marriage equality a reality. All of these men are pieces of shit. If I was accused of even a third of the shit they've been accused of I would kill myself.
4
Wait a minute, he asked these women if they wanted to see his dick? Or he just whipped it out without their consent?

If he asked them and they said ok, then how is that a problem? He had no real power over them, right? He wasn't their boss, right?

Am I missing something?
5
@1

Thanks, I was trying to figure out what felt so off-kilter about the statement. It was all about him.
6
@4

Yeah, you are missing something.
7
I believe him. I noticed that the incidents in the NYT article were more than 10 years old. Women reported contrite phone calls.

I had hoped that he would tell the truth, as Louis CK does on stage, and it seems to me that he has.

The man is clearly steeped in shame for his actions.

His most recent failure was waiting too long to confess. And. How many of us have gone public with our worst failures unprompted?

He did wrong. He stopped. He has now taken responsibility for his failures.

When do we allow people to evolve, to grow, to learn? Or do you think once we do something terrible that we must stay defined by those acts for the rest of our lives?

I hate hate HATE this mob mentality, the villagers with the pitchforks.

Cato, since you are so harsh, tell us now something you have done that you are deeply ashamed of. That you don't want anyone to know. I understand that it will be nothing in comparison to what Louis did. But on your own moral scale, the worst thing you personally have done. Tell us. Come clean. Take responsibility.
8
@6,
I haven't been following the whole story. From his statement, it sounds like Louis was asking the women to see his dick. And they were just fellow comedians, yes?

Was his not asking them? Were these his employees?
9
@4 He asked them but didn't actually wait for consent before he whipped it out and started, you know..

This is a better response than most give but then, he knows exactly how to speak to our community. He spent years masquerading as an ally.

I don't believe for a second that he didn't know what he was doing at the time that he did it. He got off on their discomfort and revulsion. This isn't an apology. It's spin and teeters on the brink of victim blaming even as he confesses that he knows he put them in a position where they had no choice.
10
This may not be a perfect apology but I'm not sure there is one for what was done. But I will say in all of the "I'm sorry for the hurt I've caused" apologies I've seen this is the first time someone came and stated that everything the accusers have said is true. That is pretty significant.
11
@4
In at least one case, he blocked the door when they tried to leave, initially thinking he was joking when he asked if he could take his dick out. Yes, he has power over them, as a well known and respected comedian with film and tv connections. What up and coming new young comedian wouldn't be thrilled to hang out with the great Louis CK? And then to realize too late you were just jerk-off bait. These women weren't on a date with him, he absolutely took advantage of his fame to ambush people with his masturbation show. He's Louis CK, if he wanted someone to consensually jerk off at, I doubt he'd have trouble finding it. I was a fan, for real loved this guys comedy. I thought he was better than this. The apology was ok, I'm glad he admitted to this outright, and none of "if that happened and people are upset then gosh I'm so sorry".
12
Ah, ok yeah if he forced them to watch him jerk off without their consent then yeah that's bad.

Not sure I agree about him having power over them though. I mean, does being famous automatically mean you can never truly get consent from anyone because they *might* only be giving consent because of your fame?

If he asked, and they said no, and he did it anyway, then yeah that's bad. But if they only said yes because they were nervous about his fame? Um... no.
13
Such a dilemma.

This:
"I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, ..."

Louis, it's beyond that. You were much more up the food chain and you and your agent had tremendous power in that "community" and you knew it.

I'm with @11 - he could have gotten many women without doing this but he wanted the power and to see their reactions. It's his thing. But it sure wasn't theirs.

But redemption. The Times reported that he had made some phone calls years ago and apologized. For both him and Mark Halperin, they say they have changed. If anyone more recent comes out with a valid story, then that may not be true.

But redemption. Can we not, as a society, still believe in it? I find his apology a good one. He should be embarassed and humilated as probably his daughters are. This is a story they can never unhear.

It's interesting all these levels of morality. Weinstein? He not only coerced women, he may have raped them. Halperin threatened their jobs. Spacey went after underage boys. The guy running in Alabama liked 'em young (sorry, but it you're over 30, ANY teenager is too young for you).

What's important is to not turn away from the damage that all this does to women and children. W
14
@12: I don't know the place I read it, but from what I read, he asked and they said yes because obviously they thought it was a joke, since it was three comedians in a room. Then he stood in the doorway until he finished, blocking their ability to leave the situation.

And afterward, his agent encouraged them to keep quiet about it "if they valued their career." They did, so they did.

Apocryphal without a link I realize, but the source seemed reputable.

Still, the apology seems to have hit all the right notes in my opinion.
15
@12 Not nervous about his fame, nervous about their careers. Thinking you are meeting as professionals or even just hanging out as colleagues and getting blindsided by this kind of behavior. Served up humiliation with a side of "talk and you'll never work in this town again". This is how it happens, it's by design. You don't start by throwing someone in boiling water, you heat it slowly, so they're cooked before they know it. Getting someone alone, getting them compromised, push as far as you dare and then ensuring their silence by making it seem like they will only hurt themselves by speaking up. He didn't say in advance "hey you want to come hang out with me and watch me jerk off? BTW, you have to stay until I come". He got them alone and compromised (but she came up to his hotel room! what was she expecting, that he would act like a professional?) covered his ass with "hey mind if I take my dick out" and then had his way

16
I'm curious for those who think this was a feeble apology, could you describe for me what you would prefer he say/do?
17
@4,12 - Fame and status can definitely have a coercive effect on people, so it does makes sense that he had power (influence) over the women involved. He himself recognizes that.
The women also had little idea what sort of other power he could bring to bear against them if they refused (à la Weinstein & his career-ruining lawyer brigade & ex-Mossad spies). So some credit to him for actually asking first, but he really needed to do much more than that to obtain actual consent. And yeah, as @11 pointed out, in at least one case he blocked their exit, until he climaxed. So, uh, very bad. Gross and bad. They stopped consenting, tried to leave, and he prevented that. Who knows what other non-consensual things he did in other situations?

I'm with @1, CK should have actually said "I apologize to each and every one of these women"... or something even better. Not saying "sorry" and just saying how remorseful he is doesn't really cut it, imho. Again, this statement is better than most (..Spacey, *barf*), for sure, but actually saying "sorry" or "I apologize" is a critical element here.

@7 - When do we allow people to evolve, to grow, to learn? Or do you think once we do something terrible that we must stay defined by those acts for the rest of our lives?
Well, action creates permanent artifacts in reality, so in one sense it will always be a part of who Louis CK is, and our perception of who he is. People, obviously, can and do learn and grow in the wake of their grievous mistakes. CK is a public person, so part of his penance is a public shaming. Men typically get away with the abuse they cause with little to no costs (à la Weinstein for most of his life, or that Brock rapist asshole), which does nothing to curb their behaviour. Imposing serious consequences for such crimes seems appropriate. And about time too. Maybe there will be forgiveness eventually. But forgiving and forgetting are different.

And for some, like pedophile Roy Moore, ...aside from his lack of repentance... how can people ever trust him again? Some crimes & the scars they cause are too deep.
18
Also, famous people can and do have consensual relationships, obviously. But he wasn't asking these women out, he wasn't making passes. They were not expecting to see his dick, and that was the point.
19
@16 Agreed with @17, plus there's also the fact that he left these women out to twist in the wind for years when they made the claims. He called the reports "rumors." Basically made the women out to be liars, and let people like Jon Stewart get indignant on his behalf, and didn't change his approach until the whole thing was crashing down around his ears. In that way he's not so different from Spacey.

His apology hits a lot of the right notes, especially when you compare it to the dreck so many other people have put out there in similar situations. But he did real harm, both in the act itself and in his dishonesty afterward. He'll have to walk the walk for a long time if he wants real redemption.
20
Crowd: "Why won't you abusers ever step up, take responsibility, and admit the truth??"

Louis CK: "The stories are true. It's my fault. I've talked a lot, now I'll listen."

Crowd: "See, it's always about you, isn't it??"
21
All of these cases are about people with power doing shit to other people because they thought could get away with it. No matter how fucked up the world is, the bright spot is that we're starting to see some consequences for the perpetrators. We have a long, long way to go, but at least we're slowly (excruciatingly slow) moving in the right direction.
22
@16, a better apology would be "I did it, and it was shitty." Then just shut up instead of going on and on and on about yourself. Because look what he's got now: everyone talking about what a good guy he really is to confess to something horrible.
23
@16 As apologies for these things go, it's the best one I've seen so far, and as a big fan of Louis CK, I was relieved to see it. Yeah, maybe a little less about how horrible HE feels and little more acknowledgement about the damage this kind of behavior does, but he did what he did and no one is under any obligation to forgive him. I don't think this can be the end of it either, if he wants to release any more comedy in the future. People are human and they fuck up, blah blah blah, but I for one would love to see some for real introspection about what prompted him to act this way and how he managed to square that with himself for so long. There is more to this than "evil man sexually intimidates women for shits and giggles" which is easy to dismiss when the perpetrator is someone you already despise.
24
I thought his statement acknowledged that the pain he caused to others was significant. And there's nothing in the statement that leads me to believe that he thinks this statement is or should be the end of it. He actually said...I'm here, I did it, and now I'm listening. To me that reads...what else needs to be done.

I'm not trying to forgive him, nor is it even my place to do so, I'm just curious as to what we expect should be done in these situations. If there's nothing to be done, if once the act is committed then that's the end of it, I think that would be good for our culture to understand.
25
@24 an apology needs action to make it real, and he's had plenty of years to think about what actions he could take. If he had started years ago, that would make for a more solid statement now.

If he's starting now, well, listening is not bad, but I'd sure hope he's also doing the work of thinking rather than passively asking "what else needs to be done." We'll see what he does from here.
26
As for specific actions... obviously get his shit together to stop doing this forever. Talking openly about that could be useful but could also get gross -- at the least better donate any professional proceeds. Use his visibility without making this exploitative, not so easy. Actively block abusive attempts he sees. Call out past acts he's heard about, if the target wants that. I'm sure there are lots of things I'm not immediately thinking of...
27
Here. Read what Melissa McEwan has to say about Louis C… She articulates him, his actions, and his apology powerfully.
28
So...best I can tell, @27, is she's closed the door. There's nothing he could do.
29
maybe there isnt. He’s a grown man and like someone noted earlier in the thread, it’s hard to believe as smart as he is that he did not know the extent of the damage she was doing while he was doing it, and this is all just spin now that he can no longer avoid it. for a long time it’s been “talk and you’ll never work in this town again”, so “commit sexual asault and you’ll never work in this town again” seems appropriate
30
Many have noted that these incidents took place "years ago" and therefore he must have somehow learned from them by now. No.

While his jack-off performances took place years ago, his denials and lies about them have gone on right up until the moment he made this statement today. Even when Tig Notaro tried to speak out against him a few weeks ago, he accused her of "participating in a rumor" and tried to make her look crazy in the press.

He knew what he was doing was wrong,

Fuck him.