Only two things are possible. Either superstar comedian Louis C.K. is a monster guilty of unthinkable sexual misconduct, or he is the innocent victim of the very worst kind of whisper campaign. Regardless of which one it is, the entertainment and political media are going out of their way to keep this bombshell story set on nothing higher than a simmer.
The rumors have been around for years. Sordid tales of female comics forced to watch a powerful comedian — a man who, if they declined or tattled, could make or break their careers with a tweet — masturbate in front of them.
There is Tig Notraro, who told the Daily Beast that she and C.K. had “an incident,” but will not add any details:
“We don’t talk since then,” she says. “So as far as what he’s doing or what he’s done…” At that point she trails off and asks me if C.K. has ever “acknowledged” the sexual-misconduct allegations against him.
There is Jen Kirkman who talked about a “perv” comedian in a podcast:
And then I had another guy who is a very famous comic. He is probably at Cosby level at this point. He is lauded as a genius. He is basically a French filmmaker at this point. You know, new material every year. He’s a known perv. And there’s a lockdown on talking about him. His guy friends are standing by him, and you cannot say a bad thing about him. And I’ve been told by people “Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.” If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that. They didn’t threaten it. They just said to me “You know what Jen, it’s not worth it because you’ll be torn apart. Look at the Cosby women.” And this guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard. Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him. And it was really fucked up, and this person was married. So it was not good, and so I hold a lot of resentment.
Apparently, after the clip went viral with C.K.’s name attached, she took it down. The Daily Beast reports that she later admitted that it was “kind of obvious” who she was referring to, but will not come out and name the name:
Various articles have identified the male comedian, who Kirkman said does “new material every year” and is “basically a French filmmaker,” as Louis C.K. Speaking to Chris Hardwick on The Nerdist podcast last summer, she admitted that it was “kind of obvious” who she was talking about and clarified that she was “never violated” and has put whatever “creepiness” occurred behind her. Kirkman also lamented the fact that it has become something that comes up in every press interview she does, saying she doesn’t want some off-hand comments she once made to define or even “ruin” her comedy career.
And then there is Roseanne Barr, who did name a name:
“I’ve been speaking up,” she said, pausing briefly before naming names. “It’s Louis C.K., locking the door and masturbating in front of women comics and writers. I can’t tell you—I’ve heard so many stories. Not just him, but a lot of them. And it’s just par for the course. It’s just shit women have to put up with.” (Louis C.K.’s rep did not respond to a request for comment.)
In a follow-up email to The Daily Beast, Barr added, “These allegations [against Louis C.K.] have been leveled and talked about for years. I do not have firsthand knowledge, though have heard women make these allegations.”
For his part, C.K. refuses to discuss the allegations, which he dismisses as rumors. In fact just yesterday, under the generic headline, “Asking Questions Louis C.K. Doesn’t Want to Answer,” the New York Times reported that he again refused:
“I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors,” Louis C.K. said during the Toronto interview, as he told Vulture last year. But he added on Sunday, “If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real.”
So it’s not real? “No.” he responded. “They’re rumors, that’s all that is.”
Either way, this is a massive story but one that is being buried by our media. Oh, the media are dutifully reporting on it, as they do all things, but serious accusations of this nature attached to a superstar, a powerful man, an elitist with his hand firmly gripping the levers of our culture, must be resolved.
Why won’t the media force the issue one way or another by blowing the story up in the same way the Bill Cosby story took flight? They certainly have the power to do this. They do it all the time to anyone on the political right, or to someone who is seen as an apostate to The Cause, as Cosby is.
Where are the CNN roundtable discussion taking place over chyrons that read, “Louis C.K. Guilty of Sexual Misconduct?”
Where are the magazine covers?
All the media has done so far is to tease this out, which is a grave injustice to C.K. if he is innocent, and a grave injustice to the truth if he is not.