In the course of less than 48 hours, Louis C.K. had his entire career furiously brought down, effectively losing it all. All of his current works/projects/appearances were nixed or shelved and his entire catalog and all the other stuff he’s involved in will undoubtedly feel the fallout from this ordeal.
So, of course, he couldn’t keep going on not saying anything, which is why he just issued this statement in apology (via Variety):
I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true. 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.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
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. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about 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 hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.
If you somehow had your hopes up about a new season of Louie ever getting made, you can let that go now.
Going forward from here, it must be made clear that people’s lives need not suffer for the benefit of creative and artistic genius within a person who does such things. As far as comedy is concerned, there are plenty of brilliant comedians that do not commit rape, sexual assault, harassment, misbehavior, or engage in any sort of behavior that irreversibly harms people.
You probably won’t be able to watch a lot of Louis CK’s works the same way ever again. However, if you thought, at any time, that he was so funny that you couldn’t imagine finding anything else funnier than his shows, movies, and stand-up, know that you will find someone and something else that will make you laugh just as hard or even harder. Trust us, we watch comedy 7 nights a week.