Comedian Louis C.K. sparked controversy after performing his first stand-up routine eight months after he was accused of, and admitting to, sexual misconduct with women working in the comedy field.
The once widely-praised comedian did receive a standing ovation after his performance at Greenwich Village comedy club on Monday, reports said.
In fact, one left-wing member of the Hollywood fraternity, Michael Ian Black even took to Twitter to express his high hopes that Louis C.K. could come roaring back into the comedy business despite his graceful behavior.
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
But if Black had hopes for the troubled comedian’s return, not many others did. Condemnation soared as news traveled about Louis C.K.’s performance.
Even Black’s own fans pounced on him for giving Louis C.K. a pass.
“Cool, your attitude is making it less safe for women comics to survive in their chosen field without being sexually assaulted and then lied about,” one Michael Ian Black fan complained.
Another slammed Black saying, “The idea your [sic] perpetuating here – that if someone is profitable, they should get their job back despite being a danger to their colleagues – is what has led to cover ups of assault and harassment in a lot of industries.”
Yet another attacked Black saying giving Louis C.K. a pass was a “bad hill to die on.”
Indeed, many, many other comedians attacked Louis C.K. and bashed his return performance on their own Twitter accounts.
Comedian Dan Telfer was even more explicit than those taking Michael Ian Black to task. Telfer told Louis C.K. to “Get the fuck offstage.”
Remember episode 1 of Better Call Saul where Saul is forced to work at Cinnabon under a new name, twitching and afraid, going home to watch his old commercials with pathetic reverence? That's better than Louis CK deserves. Get the fuck offstage.
— Dan Telfer (@dantelfer) August 28, 2018
Telfer went on to explain in analogy-free language: “If you repeatedly undermine other people’s careers so you can trap these human beings and force them to witness you masturbate, then you don’t get that career anymore.”
Many others also took to Twitter to slam the disgraced comedian and also to attack the media for continuing to use terms like “alleged victims,” when Louis C.K. has admitted to his offensive conduct.
Why are headlines referring to it as “Louis CK’s alleged misconduct”? He did it. He admitted it in a very self-aggrandizing apology letter. What’s the “alleged” for except to put sarcastic air quotes around those women’s experiences
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) 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.
— Karmitzvah (@IanKarmel) August 28, 2018
Multiple women Louis CK pulled his dick out in front of lost opportunities to pursue their careers because this guy and his enablers wanted to keep them quiet https://t.co/1muHlsXr9T
— dan solomon (@dansolomon) August 28, 2018
“Hi, I’m Louis CK. Welcome to my show, ‘The Self-Aware Rapist.’ Man, guys like me are the worst. Just the worst, the worst, the… yes, yes, I’ll accept this medal for my bravery. To continue, just the worst, worst, worst, worst, worst…”
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) August 28, 2018
Counteropinion: Louis CK, once one of my favorite comedians, joked about his privilege and white dudeness on stage while, behind the curtain, using that privilege and white dudeness to sexually harass and harm women and their own careers in comedy. So he can stay in the shed.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) August 28, 2018
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
It is absolutely insane to me that Louis CK went on stage, that a club allowed Louis CK on their stage and that more male comedians aren’t speaking out against it.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) August 28, 2018
There are many such attacks on Louis C.K. and the comedy club that allowed him to make his surprise appearance. But perhaps showing why he is a “senior editor at Esquire magazine,” the witty and erudite Tyler Coates put it succinctly when he tweeted:
Louis CK can eat shit
— Tyler Coates (@tylercoates) August 28, 2018
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.