"Louis CK is spearheading the #MeTooSoon movement," comedian Melinda Hill tweets.
Louis C.K. returned to the stand-up stage Sunday night and was reportedly greeted warmly with a standing ovation from the audience, but it's a different story on Twitter Tuesday morning.
The comedian, whose career fell apart after admitting to sexual misconduct allegations from five women at the height of the #MeToo movement, is getting roasted on the social media platform after The New York Times published an article about C.K.'s first time back at NYC club The Comedy Cellar since saying in a statement a last November that he would "now step back and take a long time to listen."
For many reacting to the news -- including other comedians -- he has not stepped back long enough.
"Louis CK is spearheading the #MeTooSoon movement," comedian Melinda Hill tweeted. Another accomplished comedian, Ian Karmel, tweeted, "Louis CK being 'banished' from stand-up comedy wasn't some kind of petty punishment, it was a f--king workplace safety issue."
Another issue people have with the 15-minute set is the fact that it was unannounced by the club beforehand, effectively springing a comedian infamous for sexual misconduct on audience members that may not have wanted to see him.
Noam Dworman, the owner of the Greenwich Village comedy hot spot, told the Times C.K. was "very relaxed" as he riffed on "typical Louis C.K. stuff," including racism, waitresses’ tips and parades. He described the crowd's reception as warm and appreciative, but did say he received an email from one patron who complained. "He wished he had known in advance, so he could’ve decided whether to have been there or not," Dworman said.
"I understand that some people will be upset with me," Dworman told the Times. "I care about my customers very much. Every complaint goes through me like a knife. And I care about doing the right thing."
He added, "There can’t be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong," and that is also not sitting well with those speaking out on social media today. See the backlash brewing below.
Louis CK is spearheading the #MeTooSoon movement— melinda hill (@melindahill) August 28, 2018
Many wonder "how long" Louis CK should be "punished" for before he's "allowed to do comedy."— Amir Talai (@AmirTalai) August 28, 2018
Not sure, but
1) he's not been punished.
2) For non-famous men, each count of indecent exposure and false imprisonment (which CK's admitted to) carries a sentence of ~1yr in jail
So Louis CK, TJ Miller, and Chris Hardwick walk into a comedy club...— Allie Goertz (@AllieGoertz) August 28, 2018
One of my fondest memories is singing my song about loving Louis CK right before he did a drop-in. The idea of him doing a drop-in now feels awful.— Allie Goertz (@AllieGoertz) August 28, 2018
I believe people can grow and change, but this urgency to bring him (and others) back SO soon just sends such a bad message.
If you are at a comedy club or a music venue and a celebrity accused of sexual harassment or assault like Louis CK shows up for a surprise performance, it is your ethical duty to LEAVE. Walk out. Punish him, and the business that hosted him, by removing your patronage.— ella dawson (@brosandprose) August 28, 2018
"audiences should have the leeway to decide what to watch themselves." -- opinion from the comedy club owner that booked Louis CK but didn't tell anyone, thereby removing their ability to decide for themselves— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) August 28, 2018
Louis CK being "banished" from stand-up comedy wasn't some kind of petty punishment, it was a fucking workplace safety issue.— Bris Farley (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
I think some of you think that because we're alone on stage, that stand-up is a completely solitary line of work, but it's not. You spend tons of time with other comedians, often in situations where there's an imbalance in power.— Bris Farley (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
Can you imagine the bank you're working at hiring back the guy who jacked off in front of women without their consent because it had been like, a year or something?— Bris Farley (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
This shit isn't hypothetical. It isn't an argument on the internet. Letting these creeps go with a slap on the wrist has wide reverberations and creates a climate that just isn't fucking safe for comedians, and especially comedians who are women - but also comedy club staff.— Bris Farley (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
Sorry to blather on, but this shit just really fucking makes me sick.— Bris Farley (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
It seems so obvious that we shouldn't let these people back into our communities without them putting in a lot of work to get better.
My next long tweet thread will be about basketball or Taco Bell I swear.
If Louis CK had stolen jokes, he’d be a fucking pariah. But instead he stole careers and passion and trust from possibly brilliant comedians - women that we’ll never get to hear from - and that is worse. Or it should be.— Jason Filiatrault (@jfiliatrault) August 28, 2018
Louis CK can eat shit— Tyler Coates (@tylercoates) August 28, 2018
It's not that I think redemption is impossible, but he's literally done nothing to redeem himself. Louis CK last said, less than a year ago, "I will now step back and take a long time to listen," but it wasn't fucking long enough, buddy, and you didn't do shit to fix anything.— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) August 28, 2018
The only way I’ll be interested in Louis CK on stage is if he talks for 45 minutes about toxic masculinity and then shits in his own mouth.— John Gary (@johngary) August 28, 2018
The club owner who booked Louis CK said "audiences should have the leeway to decide what to watch themselves." So you're saying they shouldn't be locked in a room and forced to watch something they don't want to see?— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) August 28, 2018
Louis CK is back performing standup. Matt Lauer promises to be back on television "soon." Our culture cares more about a predatory man's "comeback story" than it cares about victims, justice, or ending sexual assault, harassment, and violence.— Danielle Campoamor (@DCampoamor) August 28, 2018
weren't surprise Louis CK performances, like, exactly the problem?— Johnny McNulty (@JohnnyMcNulty) August 28, 2018
I wish all the people crying “so Louis CK can never work in comedy again?” felt as strongly about all the women who could never work in comedy again.— Jennifer Weiner (@jenniferweiner) August 28, 2018
But not everyone was piling on the disgraced comedian. "Wet Hot American Summer" star Michael Ian Black appeared to support C.K. testing the waters.
Will take heat for this, but people have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives. I don't know if it's been long enough, or his career will recover, or if people will have him back, but I'm happy to see him try. https://t.co/QmqdGJnIjy— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) August 28, 2018
I expect a lot of this, so I will say only that I'm not going to defend what he did or what he lost or what his punishment "ought to be." I'm only saying that we're in uncharted waters and we need to figure out how to move forward. https://t.co/HWo8DjqxVo— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) August 28, 2018
That would have been your right. I'm sure they would have refunded your money. I'll just make the point that, unlike other careers, when he does stand-up, Louis works for the audience. They will determine if he's welcome or not. And the answer may very well be that he's not. https://t.co/5x7XlL9crC— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) August 28, 2018
My empathy isn't for Louis. It's for the recognition that we're in a cultural moment in which some men who do terrible things have no pathway for redemption. That lack of a pathway creates a situation in which we are casting people out but not giving them a way back in. 1/2 https://t.co/9o4U8TfniW— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) August 28, 2018
The #metoo movement is incredibly powerful and important and vital. One next step, among many steps, has to be figuring out a way for the men who are caught up in it to find redemption.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) August 28, 2018