Actors, comedians and the media shred the comedian after he admitted to masturbating in front of five women.
Louis C.K. confirmed allegations of sexual misconduct and expressed remorse in a statement Friday, and while it goes much further than the responses of other accused men, it still fell short for many people in Hollywood.
"I finally see how deeply my actions have affected other people emotionally since they are now affecting me financially," fellow comedian Paul F. Tompkins tweeted, mocking Louis C.K.'s statement. Other celebrities, including Rose McGowan, Busy Philipps and Gabourey Sidibe, also reacted with disgust online.
The stand-up comic and "Louie" producer came clean about long-rumored allegations after the New York Times published an exposé on Thursday in which five different women accused him of masturbating in front of them without their consent since the late 1990s.
"These stories are true," he admitted. "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."
He continued, "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. [...] 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 statement stood out from other men who have responded to sexual harassment and assault allegations since the Harvey Weinstein scandal, in that he owned up to his behavior, did not accuse the women of lying and acknowledged the power dynamic that allowed his behavior to remain mostly hidden while his career took off. "I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want," he said. "I will now step back and take a long time to listen."
However, he never actually said the word "sorry" in his statement and spent much of it talking about his status as a highly-admired figure in comedy. He also released this statement after denying the rumors for years and was criticized for only expressing remorse after the NYT report.
Here are some of the top responses from Hollywood, the comedy community and the media:
Louis CK’s apology leaves a lot to be desired. For example, I “desire” a time machine so I can go back and tell him not to masturbate in front of those women.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 10, 2017
I heard stories about Louis C.K. 2 years ago. I’m in no way connected to the comedy scene, and I’d heard of it. Industry faux-shock is such a tired lie. I send my strength and love to all women hurt by him & the code of complicity.— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) November 10, 2017
I haven't read the Louis CK statement because I don't really give a FUCK what he has to say about this.— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) November 10, 2017
The Oscars are adding a new category called Best Apology.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) November 10, 2017
I am so mad today.— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) November 10, 2017
so many of my comedian friends have texted me to say:thank God Louis CK is found out--ALL of them are MEN-gender has 0 2 do w morality.— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) November 10, 2017
“I finally see how deeply my actions have affected other people emotionally since they are now affecting me financially.”— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) November 10, 2017
“Hey, you are standing on my foot.”— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) November 10, 2017
“Oh, I do not forgive myself for that.”
So when IS it appropriate to ask a woman you’re not in a relationship with to look at your dick? Never right? Feels like the answer is “NEVER”.— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) November 10, 2017
This is not enough but it’s not nothing, either. I hope every man, whether predatory or not, reads and deeply absorbs this statement. https://t.co/vexh1hfxMK— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) November 10, 2017
The #LouisCK apology just seems like a really longwinded way to list his credits.— Iliza Shlesinger (@iliza) November 10, 2017
"I never showed a woman my dick without asking first" is not a fucking apology, Louis C.K.— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) November 10, 2017
In two weeks‘ time, Louis C.K. will be fine because hey at least he didn’t call his accusers a bunch of lying bitches.— Imani “too many goddamn Nazis around here” Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) November 10, 2017
Fuck Louis CK and his statement. From how he refers to his repulsive crimes as "stories" to positioning his actions as his struggle to deal with admiration not to mention his need to list his current TV credits in an apology. Can this asshole ever stop masturbating?— aaron blitzstein (@BlitznBeans) November 10, 2017
Yes, Louis CK's statement is good -- significantly better than Moore's, Weinstein's, Trump's etc. He owned up.— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) November 10, 2017
No, this does not mean he gets a gold star. No one gets a gold star for basic human decency years after violating people and lying about it.
Louis CK proudly edits his own work, but another pair of eyes might have suggested cutting at least one of the four times he said his victims "admired" him.— Max Silvestri (@maxsilvestri) November 10, 2017
What Louis CK did is illegal.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 10, 2017
It was not just crass or gross or rude.
Being famous does not increase the legality of pulling your dick out and masturbating in front of people.
It's a crime.
I thought Louis CK & Kevin Spacey were brilliant in their fields. That doesn’t change their actions. Someone can be talented AND abusive - one doesn’t weigh against the other. The sooner we accept that, the more serial abusers will be brought to light.— Dan Murrell (@MurrellDan) November 10, 2017
Just a reminder, but women don't— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) November 10, 2017
-Appreciate dick pics
-Think watching you masturbate is cool
-Want to be groped at work
-Appreciate your sexist jokes
-Like to be threatened or silenced
It's 2018, guys. Get your shit together.#LouisCK #HarveyWeinstein #RoyMoore #DonaldTrump