I forgot that Louie basically didn’t even outright apologize for what he did in the first place. For as good of a writer he is, he was sure effective at dancing around using the words “I’m sorry for what I did and I apologize to the people I hurt”.
But fuck Louie and fuck what Louie did. What I care about is all the voices that no one gets to hear because those women were forced out of their careers, whether because they felt overtly threatened or “only” uncomfortable:
There’s a difference between the real person and the person hiding behind a performance, crafting a persona that reveals only certain elements of their true self. CK lied for many years about the things he did and he continued to do them while he lied about it. I feel like you are more concerned about the entertainment value you stand to receive by hearing his unique take on the sick things he did.
I’m not denying that I did something that was wrong. I do understand that. I feel bad. I have felt bad! I felt really bad for a really long time! People yelled at me, and I had to sit there and listen to them tell me that I made them feel bad, and I felt bad. That is a terrible feeling. I don’t want to overstate this, but I think it is literally the worst feeling in the world, having other people tell you that you did something wrong.
I don’t see any problem with Louis C.K. returning to work. If he can find people who will actually work with him (since he’s ya’know completely batshit crazy) then fair enough.
I don’t think he ever faced criminal charges?
Yeah, this came up yesterday. I agree that there’s a difference between the real person and the person hiding behind the performance… usually a pretty big difference. But in Louis’ case I think it’s a vanishingly small difference.
In fact, he’s a great example of a career that stayed at a certain plateau until he decided to ‘make it personal’ (that’s my number one advice to all my students; I should get it tattooed on my face) around his Chewed Up special and then his career exploded. (Who could have guessed that referring to his wifes’ nipples as being “chewed up” might be a stepping stone to divorce?!)
But, no, I’m not concerned with mere “entertainment value.” One of my first posts yesterday referred to church. Marc Maron stated it nicely and pretty succinctly on a recent WTF podcast, “You seek to understand and to share that understanding with others.” That’s the kind of comic/writer/director Louis CK is. He understands and observes human nature and finds comedy and sadness and everything in between. That’s a lot more valuable to me than just entertainment. I appreciate that most folks don’t see it the same. I also hope they can appreciate that fans who might want him back out in the world aren’t just interested in laffs.
So, I’m (naively?) looking for him to do that kind of exploration of the #metoo subject because now’s the time and he might have something to offer. Not for laughs or entertainment but for deep insight and the greater good, if he can just find his way through it. I bet he’s reading that Alexandra Petri piece today along with other raging debates such as this one. (Hi, Louis! Check out Slay the Spire!)
By the way, I suspect his best work is behind him (the Louie series) as are the prime years of my being a dad to two young girls when his insights on that subject were most valuable. My life can surely go on without him. Nesrie is right about our heroes disappointing us for all kinds of reasons… it’s actually one of the crappier parts about getting older.
That’s actually how I look at him. Not as a ‘normal’ person. But as someone who has a serious mental illness. I think he needs serious mental help. What can he do to make it right? Spend years in therapy. He needs it. Fuck his comedy and his comfort. He has to get help.
For all we know, he has sought out that help. I sure hope so.
I’ve read a lot of interviews with comics, actors, etc, in which they try to relate how their experience performing for an audience is therapeutic. Stephen Colbert said it in that Times interview that got posted in his thread here just the other day. Aaron Sorkin explored it via fiction in Newsroom.
So if you think he needs help, getting back on stage might be one and the same. You’ve heard me try to articulate what he gives me… makes sense that this would be a two-way give-and-take.
Well, I agreed with your sentiment that he should seek traditional therapy. Then I followed up with thoughts about the notion of therapy in the performing world, fresh in my mind from that great Stephen Colbert interview. Felt like your point-by-point response was anchored in disagreement where I didn’t see any.
The least he could do, like at the button, sea level kind of approach, is warn people ahead of time to give them a choice whether they encounter him at not. Then again, he’s not really big on giving choices to others is he?
This is a very good op ed in the NY Times on the subject. I’m not sure, what the answer is but I do believe that victims voice should definitely be listened to.
How long should a man like Louis C.K. pay for what he did? At least as long as he worked to silence the women he assaulted and at least as long as he allowed them to doubt themselves and suffer in the wake of his predation and at least as long as the comedy world protected him even though there were very loud whispers about his behavior for decades.
He should pay until he demonstrates some measure of understanding of what he has done wrong and the extent of the harm he has caused. He should attempt to financially compensate his victims for all the work they did not get to do because of his efforts to silence them. He should facilitate their getting the professional opportunities they should have been able to take advantage of all these years. He should finance their mental health care as long as they may need it. He should donate to nonprofit organizations that work with sexual harassment and assault victims. He should publicly admit what he did and why it was wrong without excuses and legalese and deflection. Every perpetrator of sexual harassment and violence should follow suit.