I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Alright, Louis C.K., listen up.
So if I understand you, it was just YESTERDAY you realized you never had to consider that you’ve been a creepy bastard because you were so popular, you didn’t have to think about it? Seriously?
That lightbulb went off only after you read The New York Times piece, eh?
No. That is not how this works. You don’t get to color yourself enlightened after years of misconduct followed by years of denying allegations as bullshit rumors.
You knew. Of course you knew. YOU JOKED ABOUT IT FOR YEARS. LITERALLY. On the stage. In front of all those adoring crowds. For all the cameras recording your sold-out specials, late night talk show visits, and guest appearances.
The thing is, everyone has always said you were fucking brilliant. You’ve been on top of the comedy world for a long time. You are crass, and yet you’ve seemed kind, thoughtful. I’ve always admired your ability to present a possibly skewed perspective in a way that is not only amusing, but makes one think…
How did the The New York Times put it?
Louis C.K. built a reputation as the unlikely conscience of the comedy scene, by making audiences laugh about hypocrisy — especially male hypocrisy.
Truly, it’s a gift. And it’s your job.
Unfortunately, knowing your wordsmith ways makes your well-crafted, thoughtful statement hit me as so much bullshit.
Perhaps you really did learn your lesson about sexual harassment and misconduct too late in life. Perhaps that lesson has brought you suffering in your personal life and/or has informed your comedy all these years. After all, the best jokes often ring with deep truth.
Frankly, I’m glad you get it. Better late than never, I guess. But you don’t get kudos for waking up to your world falling apart and acknowledging the sky is falling.
And you want to know what really has me seething, Louis?
By saying you got away with disgusting, predatory behavior because you were “widely admired,” you in effect make all your admirers – your fans and your colleagues – complicit in that behavior.
I’ll be honest, that’s what pisses me off so much. I laughed when you talked about your dirty thoughts and your deviant behavior. I rolled my eyes about the rumors, because, well…because I liked you. I really liked you.
Do you mind if I paraphrase one your bits? It is my favorite. Of course I didn’t think you had been habitually exposing yourself to women. It never crossed my mind it was true. Of course not. But maybe… Maybe I didn’t want to pay any attention to the rumors, because then I might find out they were true.
Now we are here, Louis. With you admitting the truth in this scandal you’ve known was coming for years. With you saying, “There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am… I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and giving them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.”
I’m sorry, but that just isn’t good enough.
It sounds like you’ve attempted to make personal amends. That’s a good start. But you’ve had many years to, if not come clean, perhaps do something more with your status as the de facto conscience of the comedy world. Just a thought.
Maybe you were trying. Maybe you intended your movie, I Love You, Daddy, to open the door, and you’re just a bit too late.
But maybe…maybe you’re only talking seriously about any of this because the sky is falling.
The complete statement from Louis C.K. appears here.