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.
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.
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?
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.