Nov 10, 2017

What are you doing Louie?

In the last couple months, the allegations of sexual misconduct against some of the most powerful people in the world have been astounding. Charlie Sheen has been accused of raping Cory Haim?

But the most surprising and disappointing has been the new Louis C.K. story that broke so hard and so penetrating that he was forced to cancel the premiere of his new movie and an appearance on Late Night with Colbert. Now I turn on the radio less than 12 hours later and the gooey details of what he's allegedly done in front of five female comedians is so sticky and gross - well, first off, I don't want to hear about that on news radio when I'm eating my burrito. Second, I've lost all respect for him simply on the story of the allegations. I mean, in the world of lewd sex acts - what he's been accused of just sounds limp and stupid. It's something a homeless guy would think twice about doing.

To think he blew his entire career on the wall like that. Disgusting. Take a Kleenex, Lou.

It's worth noting that quite out of no where the court of public opinion has toppled quite a few powerful men lately. I make the note that it's historically, and unfortunately, been the burden of the women to convince anyone of what horrible thing had transpired. And even then, she was either 'asking for it', or it's 'a normal part of that business', or 'boys will be boys.' I wonder if those excuses are gone - and that the tolerance for the locker-room bad-boy behavior is going to be corrected.

But I do warn that pushing the guillotine out too often and without any questioning of the facts will eventually be as dangerous as silence. Perhaps if in just a few years we'll see a headline where a young man is accused of sexual misconduct for merely asking his neighbor to the prom?


LOUIS C.K. said...

I want to address the stories told to The New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.

These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.

I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.

The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You, Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much; The Orchard who took a chance on my movie, and every other entity that has bet on me through the years. I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.

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.

Thank you for reading.

Jeremy Piven said...

We’re entering “dark times” where accusations are printed as fact and it’s impossible to disprove things that never happened. I hope we can give people the benefit of the doubt before we rush to judgment.