On the Record
November 9, 2017 1:38 PM   Subscribe

 
Even if this were not happening, this is not really a great time to release that movie......
posted by thelonius at 1:39 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


These have been persistent but not formally-reported rumors for a while, and they've been enough to turn me off of his work. Glad to see some blowback.
posted by entropone at 1:39 PM on November 9 [45 favorites]


Previously on Metafilter (This is not a double, though).
posted by explosion at 1:41 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


This is fine. It's not like I needed examples of self aware, grounded, decent people that shape my outlook or anything.

This is unfortunately my first 'hero' to fall. I thought I knew all the imperfections before hand so anything gross Louie inevitably was going to do in the future wouldn't bother me much but this is a bit too far.

.
posted by savitarka at 1:43 PM on November 9 [15 favorites]


Gawker tried to report on this in 2015. But they made a kajillionaire mad so they were destroyed.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:44 PM on November 9 [134 favorites]


Please read the previously by Emmy Healy. She's an incredible writer who does such a good job on these topics. Also maybe read the previous threads where this came up and wonder about how hard we ask for proof when it's obvious what's going on.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:44 PM on November 9 [41 favorites]


The core of his comedy, to me, was being honest with oneself about the ways one lies about, disguises or excuses their own shittiness, about ripping that band-aid off and seeing yourself for what you are. Beyond the upset of these long-circulating rumors being given a factual basis, there's the upset to find out that essentially his entire comedic persona was totally fraudulent. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a long time but I can't imagine looking at anything from him ever again.
posted by anazgnos at 1:45 PM on November 9 [43 favorites]


Yeah, rumors have persisted for years and I kind of stopped watching him a while ago because of them. That and his tendency to get away from pure comedy and try to earnestly prove he's a good guy, which always felt a little awkward and rang hollow.

I respected him a lot before and that's gone now and I'm fine with that. Out them, out them all. Especially the "good guys".
posted by mikesch at 1:48 PM on November 9 [65 favorites]


Every one of these men who are exposed lowers the friction for the next.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:48 PM on November 9 [136 favorites]


This is fine. It's not like I needed examples of self aware, grounded, decent people that shape my outlook or anything.

There are literally billions of other people to provide this outlook.

This is unfortunately my first 'hero' to fall. I thought I knew all the imperfections before hand so anything gross Louie inevitably was going to do in the future wouldn't bother me much but this is a bit too far.

.


A bit? Also, dude doesn't need a dot. He's still alive, his victims still have to deal with the trauma and backlash and years of self-doubt, and he's still making loads of cash from the many media outlets that have given him a platform. Save the mourning for someone who deserves it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:49 PM on November 9 [120 favorites]


This is unfortunately my first 'hero' to fall.

I have a few male heroes, and it's ridic when you realize you're thinking things like "I hope my artistic hero is just the garden-variety adulterer we already knew he is, and not a sexual predator."

That's how low my expectations are these days, even for the men I hold in the highest artistic esteem.
posted by Windigo at 1:49 PM on November 9 [85 favorites]


These stories were circulating for years amongst female comedians in their own whisper network; I'm glad to see them finally properly come to light. I've never been a fan of C.K., tbh, and when I started hearing about his behaviour from women working in stand up on other podcasts, or hinted about, it only confirmed my dislike of him.

In a sort of similar vein, Jamie Kilstein, another stand up comedian who was revealed to engaged in predatory behaviour all the while flying the flag of male feminist (he was ousted from the political podcast he hosted with his now ex-wife early in the year) LOUDLY, has resurfaced doing the inevitable 180 on his veganism/feminism/reproductive rights/social justice stance by guesting on Joe Rogan and Doug Stanhope's respective podcasts. I was hoping for a mea culpa, apologies, I'm learning, but hey, I guess I should thank him for showing his true colours too.
posted by Kitteh at 1:51 PM on November 9 [27 favorites]


> “He asked if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me.” Stunned and angry, Ms. Corry said she declined, and pointed out that he had a daughter and a pregnant wife. “His face got red,” she recalled, “and he told me he had issues.”

"You don't understand my plight!" Shit, dude, we *all* have issues but somehow the vast majority of us manage to deal with them in ways that don't involve masturbating in front of strangers. Expecting a woman to *feel sorry* for you in a situation like that is some gross, entitled bullshit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:52 PM on November 9 [28 favorites]


I bet Louie has been sweating for awhile waiting for this shoe to drop. I'm glad it finally did. I was a fan of most of Louie's work but I'm not going to be able to anymore. I think. I feel the way you feel when someone in your family fucks up really bad. Ugh why did you think you could do this and get away with it.
posted by bleep at 1:53 PM on November 9 [18 favorites]


I think CK and Cosby are cut from the same mold. Folks who aggressively legislate the way other people should start acting are often avoiding some ugly shit they can't get a handle on in their own lives. I think most of us hit a point X seconds/minutes into a rant on morality where we wince, remember our own foibles, and then mutter in a low voice, "But what the fuck do I know..." The really confident hectorers are often deeply fucked up human beings.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:55 PM on November 9 [41 favorites]


Many men who have assaulted me or harassed me have then asked me to coddle them for their issues, to soothe, to understand, to forgive, to keep quiet, to absolve, to understand. Emotional labor threads aren't just about who takes the trash out, but about the way women often - usually - cannot experience our traumas, angers, frustrations, without also swaying men like nursemaids. So eventually we just move to that and men wonder why we have "crazy" outbursts.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:58 PM on November 9 [166 favorites]


Posted this in the last thread: here's a comedy sketch of CK using masturbation as a way to assert his power over a woman. I think it was intended to both be creepy and funny at the same time. Now it's just creepy.
posted by Nelson at 1:58 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


I was out in Burbank, CA, several weeks ago, and a Big Studio Exec told me that all of this was about to happen. How did he know? There were several more Big Names on his list, but those shoes haven't dropped yet.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:59 PM on November 9 [34 favorites]


You can tell us, StickyCarpet.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:01 PM on November 9 [73 favorites]


Since this information had to take so long to be made public, it's wonderful karma (and kind of hilarious) that it came to light right as Louis CK is positioning himself as this deep and serious auteur film maker.
posted by riruro at 2:01 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


First and foremost: the hell with him. Not least because of his weird criminal-who-wants-to-get-caught thing with the new movie, the Louie episode w/ the COMEDIAN/MASTURBATOR tv chyron gag, and all of that.

Secondly: there are a bunch of high-profile comedians who need to weigh in on this like yesterday or else be badly guilty by association. Everyone else repped by his agent (so, what, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, can't remember who else). Marc Maron, who I think I remember downplaying the accusations against CK at some point (and even if he didn't, the relationship between those 2 and the multiple CK appearances on Maron's honesty-above-all show really create a hella problematic situation that Maron needs to address). This is another pass/fail test in a year when a disturbing number of people have been failing them.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 2:01 PM on November 9 [41 favorites]


As a point of interest, CK financed I Love You Daddy with another one of his patented "Fuck it, I'll pay out of pocket for the project I want to do with a huge chunk of my life savings, then make it back later" moves. This may actually ruin him financially, at least for a time.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:02 PM on November 9 [22 favorites]


Also, expressing some of the same stuff on twitter is giving me the rare joy of crazed randos swooping in to defend/minimize/all that fun.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 2:03 PM on November 9


He was at Patton Oswalt's wedding. There is no way the comedians close to him didn't know - you think Jim Norton was in the dark? Come on. No way Pamela Adlon hangs around this long and never heard (or saw directly). They thought it was funny or 'ugh, that's Louie!' Maybe at some point people will start reflecting on the abusers in their friend groups who get similar passes.

The issue also is people count this as the news coming out instead of two or more years ago when we started hearing it.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:05 PM on November 9 [21 favorites]


This may actually ruin him financially, at least for a time.

Fucking good.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:09 PM on November 9 [23 favorites]


Exactly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:10 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I've been kinda expecting that this particular shoe would drop since I saw the trailer for hits new movie. A lot of his early interviews were insisting on separating the art from the creator. But he also has Charlie days character mimic masturbation in front of female characters a couple times, apparently.

I burned out on CK a few years ago. Parker Posey described him as a creep years ago, and that was before the whole awful season about his relationships with women, which were really gawky and tone-deaf.

I thought his stand up was funny and he's funniest when he's talking about what an idiot he is, but that somehow inverted him into thinking he's smarter than everyone. He has so much contempt for everyone who gives a shit about anything that it really inhibits his ability to write characters (like the political bothsidism in that early Horace and Pete). He sets up lots of strawmen on issues he's not interested in and is then flippant and dismissive because the only arguments he can construct are shallow and petty.

Also, probably not the best time to release an homage to a middle aged Woody Allen dating a teenager movie.

(edit: typos)
posted by lkc at 2:14 PM on November 9 [25 favorites]


Also, if any of these pieces of shit actually wants to do the right thing now, they will disappear from public life. There’s no way to remain without continuing to hurt women. Go. Away.

They won’t, obviously, but that’s one of the many things they should do.

I hope the women who’s careers were derailed or who lived in fear of having their literal dreams crushed for a goddamn decade are able to sue him for whatever money he has left.

And good Christ, he has daughters. Jesus. I feel badly for them.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:14 PM on November 9 [26 favorites]


This may actually ruin him financially, at least for a time.

Fucking good.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:09 PM on November 9


Epony...escalation?
posted by notsnot at 2:16 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


Secondly: there are a bunch of high-profile comedians who need to weigh in on this like yesterday or else be badly guilty by association. Everyone else repped by his agent (so, what, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, can't remember who else)

The language has not yet been invented that can convey how little interest I have in any women who were not directly involved in facilitating misconduct's being found guilty by association of these powerful men's sexual misbehavior.

No. This is on the men. Louis C.K.'s penis is not Amy Poehler's responsibility.
posted by praemunire at 2:17 PM on November 9 [205 favorites]


"Everyone else repped by his agent (so, what, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, can't remember who else)."

Wait, why? Are they professionally associated in some way if they use the same agent? (I genuinely do not know, is it like "Oh, yeah, we happen to go to the same doctor" or is it like "we recommend each other to the agent who only picks up people we like" or what?)

In related news, Terry Crews decided to report his Hollywood sexual assault to the LAPD, who are investigating. Good for him, it's hard for men to step forward.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:19 PM on November 9 [118 favorites]


I gotta say, this is wholly unsurprising to me. CK always gave off a creep vibe, not least in his stand-up.
posted by Dysk at 2:22 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


Wait, why? Are they professionally associated in some way if they use the same agent?

The Times story includes allegations of the agent, Dave Becky, working to quash the story and affecting the careers of victims. At the very least, I guess they really ought to make a statement about Becky.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 2:23 PM on November 9 [11 favorites]


He has so much contempt for everyone who gives a shit about anything

This. His nihilism was what put me off his standup a couple of years ago.
posted by Omon Ra at 2:24 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


Good. I hope my friends who insist on making excuses for CK (and people like Maher) are paying attention.

(I wish Danny Masterson was next, but Netflix seems to be doubling down on protecting him.)
posted by elsietheeel at 2:24 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I'm actually not familiar with Louis C.K. or his work at all. I've never seen any of his shows. I certainly knew who he was, but nothing about him ever attracted me or made me interested in seeking out more of his work. The most exposure I've ever had to him was to see the okay SNL episode he did earlier this year. It's notable that the best sketch he did in that, "Birthday Clown", which was darkly hilarious, played very explicitly off his off-putting vibe as a weird, dysfunctional guy.

This is unfortunately my first 'hero' to fall.

Over the last five years or so, between the events of my own life and the numerous famous people who have been toppled from their pedestals, I've realized that there are no heroes, that no one is even special on the whole, really, though they might have some specific exceptional qualities. I used to love unconditionally and to be too trusting, but now I realize that no one deserves unconditional love and that giving it to someone is a pretty sure path to being treated like shit. I used to think I'd be nervous meeting certain famous people I admired, but now I can't imagine even being excited over the possibility. In this Age of Information, we tend to feel that we know the famous people we admire and whose work and life we follow because we know quite a bit about them, which is why it can be a shock to learn that they are monsters in private, but the fact is that we don't know them. And so my unspoken attitude towards any people I've just met is a cautious, "No matter how good you look on paper and how much I might know about you in advance, you're just another flawed human being like all the rest of us, I don't know you, and you're going to have to earn my trust very gradually."
posted by orange swan at 2:24 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


I’m sure everyone did know, but our society’s go-to reaction for a revelation about sexual misconduct is to crush the person who speaks up, victim or advocate. Doesn’t matter if you’re famous or just Jane (or Joe) Citizen, if the perpetrator was famous or just Joe Citizen. People go to great lengths to preserve the privilege of men to engage in sexually predatory behavior, as if this is a fundamental element of being a man.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen widespread acknowledgement that this behavior is objectively bad and harmful, and it is not excused just because a person contributes beneficially to society in other areas of his life. Especially if one uses the power and authority of their position *to* prey on people in more vulnerable positions.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:25 PM on November 9 [18 favorites]


I am curious to see how the plays out compared to Kevin Spacey.

In the days after the Spacey accusations surfaced, there were a stories about people with moderate power (like West End producers) protecting those who worked for them from Spacey. They didn't stop him or accuse him in public, but they did try to make sure the young men in their staff were not every alone in a room with Spacey.

Are we going to hear stories about tv producers or comedy club owners or whoever making sure that Louis wasn't given access to young female comics?

It sucks to say but I doubt it.
posted by thecjm at 2:25 PM on November 9 [16 favorites]


This may actually ruin him financially, at least for a time.

Like all the others who have been exposed, he will live extremely comfortable for the rest of his life. This guy might not be as rich as Spacey, but he is rich.
posted by Beholder at 2:29 PM on November 9 [9 favorites]


He might, however, be kinda lonely. He’s not exactly hot, and being known as the Nice Guy(tm) who wants you to watch while he beats off is not going to make a lot of ladies think, “Ooh, I want a piece of that action”.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:33 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I bet Louie has been sweating for awhile waiting for this shoe to drop.

I've been wondering how many powerful predators are sweating right now. I'm guessing some of them are not self-aware enough to sweat their coming downfall--whatever mental justifications they've put in place are probably still functioning. But I wonder if anybody who does see it coming will step forward to get ahead of it, if that makes sense. Like, is anybody starting to think that they have a better chance of weathering it if they speak up before their victims do? Are there men who are legitimately watching this unfold and realizing for the first time that behavior they've justified to themselves is actually unjustifiable? I'm genuinely curious.

Last year when the USA Gymnastics sex abuse story broke, I found myself wondering why none of the national sports organizations reacted to earlier scandals by improving their own policies and practices. Imagine what a difference it would have made for USA Gymnastics to say, "The revelations of sex abuse in USA Swimming and other organizations have shown us that our own methods for dealing with reports of sex abuse, and the guidelines we have in place for member behavior, are inadequate." USA Gymnastics ended up hiring an outside advisor to do an investigation of their practices and make recommendations. Imagine the difference if they'd done that before they were forced to. And yet that doesn't seem to happen--they all seem to just keep carrying on until they have their own public comeuppance, and all the while people are being hurt. I'm interested to see if it will play out the same way in the entertainment industry, or if some men will do something other than wait for public exposure, and how that will be received.

I'm also very cynical and jaded. When Kevin Spacey was replaced with Christopher Plummer in the Getty movie, I thought that was a powerful move on the part of the filmmaker, since Spacey's scenes were already filmed and the movie is being released soon. At the same time, I wonder how they knew for sure they weren't replacing one sexual predator with another.
posted by Orlop at 2:37 PM on November 9 [15 favorites]


Very attractive people rape other people all the time. His looks have nothing to do with him being a serial abuser.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:38 PM on November 9 [29 favorites]


[Comment and a couple replies removed. If your reaction to this of all things is "it's a witch hunt", skip the thread.]
posted by cortex at 2:38 PM on November 9 [55 favorites]


He might, however, be kinda lonely.

Who. Gives. A. Shit?

Being ‘lonely’ is not justification for sexual assault.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:38 PM on November 9 [36 favorites]


He might, however, be kinda lonely. He’s not exactly hot, and being known as the Nice Guy(tm) who wants you to watch while he beats off is not going to make a lot of ladies think, “Ooh, I want a piece of that action”.

The Menendez Brothers both got married while in prison serving sentences of life without parole. I'm afraid you vastly underestimate the power of celebrity -- any kind of celebrity.
posted by holborne at 2:38 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


When you pit Spacey against men who abuse women you are at some level pitting male victims against women victims. Please be careful and think of the victims who are men reading these threads.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:39 PM on November 9 [15 favorites]


I've been wondering how many powerful predators are sweating right now. I'm guessing some of them are not self-aware enough to sweat their coming downfall--whatever mental justifications they've put in place are probably still functioning. But I wonder if anybody who does see it coming will step forward to get ahead of it, if that makes sense. Like, is anybody starting to think that they have a better chance of weathering it if they speak up before their victims do? Are there men who are legitimately watching this unfold and realizing for the first time that behavior they've justified to themselves is actually unjustifiable? I'm genuinely curious.


I was talking with my partner about the cascade of revealed sexual predators, and you can be absolutely sure there are agents out there strong-arming their clients to tell them if there is anything potentially hinky they've done and/or scrubbing their social media feeds. One of the Hollywood podcasts I listen to talks about no celebrity speech about how sorry they are or etc is done on the fly; there are publicists and writers who have had this shit prepped for this exact moment (Spacey being the best example). So this shows you that those folks knew or suspected and had a statement for them to read when the shit hits the fan.
posted by Kitteh at 2:41 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Good riddance. I hate him and his crappy stand up. Does this mean that all the dudes that are sooooooo into stand up can stop trying to convince me his material is good?

"I'm a disgusting, awful pervert but so are all of you" isn't actually funny to those of us who aren't awful, disgusting perverts. He's been broadcasting for years that he is trash.

I'm grateful to all the women who are brave enough to stand up and speak on it. And those who can't but keep enduring. Solidarity fist bump to all of you out there.

Edit: grateful to all the women, men and others
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:41 PM on November 9 [78 favorites]


"I'm a disgusting, awful pervert but so are all of you" isn't actually funny to those of us who aren't awful, disgusting perverts.

Yes! This is exactly what I was trying to say (but I did a worse job of it). It's also problematically normalising of that kind of behaviour or attitude, and a reassuring back-pat to the fellow creeps. Ugh.
posted by Dysk at 2:45 PM on November 9 [27 favorites]


Who. Gives. A. Shit?

Being ‘lonely’ is not justification for sexual assault.


I think that was an expression of schadenfreude
posted by hleehowon at 2:49 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I don't think I'll ever watch anything by him again and don't mean to justify his actions in any way, but to me it seems that there's a mental health component involved. I mean, someone who does that to other people is not entirely right in the head.
posted by ikalliom at 2:51 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I think that was an expression of schadenfreude

Yes, of course. Sorry. I was blinded by rage.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:51 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I think CK and Cosby are cut from the same mold.
There is more than a couple shades of difference in what each of them have done.
posted by beatThedealer at 2:55 PM on November 9 [28 favorites]


I don't think I'll ever watch anything by him and don't mean to justify the his actions in any way, but to me it seems that there's a mental health component involved. I mean, someone who does that to other people is not entirely right in the head.

This is a person who got power and used it to prey on others which is a pattern that men have been using since time immortal. His particular flavour of abuse is irrelevant and a disservice to those of us out here with a "mental health component" of our own - you are lumping sexual abusers in with us. Please do not do that.
posted by notorious medium at 2:55 PM on November 9 [100 favorites]


I mean, someone who does that to other people is not entirely right in the head.

Rape culture is a hell of a drug.
posted by Ashen at 2:55 PM on November 9 [21 favorites]


Funny, my mental health is completely fucked but, as far as I know, I'm not a sexual predator...
posted by elsietheeel at 2:56 PM on November 9 [85 favorites]


This is unfortunately my first 'hero' to fall.

heroes exist to disappoint us
part of growing up, I guess.
which makes how they actually redress their issues all the more critical.

I was out in Burbank, CA, several weeks ago, and a Big Studio Exec told me that all of this was about to happen. How did he know? There were several more Big Names on his list, but those shoes haven't dropped yet.

MovieCityNews can't really help but cover a lot of what's going on right now.

“Rumors are swirling around a handful of big fish. This week could see the fallen list go from low-hanging in-plain-sight fruit, to top of the vine, not-at-all-expected powers-still-in-their-prime. Rumor also has it that these players’ corporate overlords are aware. Will they get ahead of the mob and deal with things themselves? Watch this week for sudden personnel changes to in unexpected places as grandees try to deal quietly before they are engulfed in the crucible.”

Strange times.
posted by philip-random at 2:57 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


Gee I wonder why George Clooney is retiring.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:59 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Who knows when my mental health got fucked - nurture or nature - but I can tell you it got a hell of a lot worse after a lifetime of being assaulted, harassed, and dismissed by men. I don't even know how many men have done to me what Louis C.K. makes a habit of because I just stopped counting so long ago. The mental health of the men who have abused me doesn't seem relevant.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:59 PM on November 9 [46 favorites]


After the comments he made about Sarah Palin, I can't see why this is a surprise. But anyone who objected at the time was seen as a right-winger using feminism as a wedge issue against a lefty dudebro fave.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 3:02 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


I think people get unsettled, not even just the big fans, by the fact that in a case like this, hey, this is a guy who said some stuff that resonated with them at some points. I think Hollywood creates this weird tendency for people to feel like, you know, you see a guy in a few things and you don't even necessarily love him but you've liked some of it pretty well, and now you have a sort of feeling about him like he's a friend of yours. Not your best friend, but a friend. So this kind of thing feels like a betrayal, or like you have some kind of ownership, or at least like you've gone through some sort of a loss. I get it, on one level, and yet on another--you felt like you knew him, but you didn't know him. You don't have to be attached. You'll find new people who resonate, because resonating with you is basically their job. The more dead wood that gets cut out of the industry, the more room there will be for new stuff to come up that isn't tainted by this rot.

You can pick and choose from media the bits that work for you and the bits that don't; don't try to take ownership over the whole person. The more you build someone up to be a hero, if they're someone you've never interacted with personally, you're really gambling. Especially when that person exists in a space where only those adapted to survive in cesspools can thrive. Some of those people are just good survivors, but some of them are going to turn out to be shit.
posted by Sequence at 3:03 PM on November 9 [25 favorites]


I knew about Louis CK (prev) but the asshole who broke the camel's back for me was Kevin Spacey. I knew he was guilty the moment he claimed he didn't remember trying to sexually assaulted his victim but remembered being drunk and oh by the way I'm gay.

In Sweden, #metoo has resulted in countless of men being exposed for having raped and sexually harassed women. Many of the accused work in media and are outspoken "feminists" and adored by leftists like myself, which probably made it easier for them to continue committing crimes.

Just today, 456 513 (five hundred thirteen!) screen and stage actresses have shared their stories of being victims of sex crimes on SvD.se (English), one of Sweden's largest newspapers and media properties. It's a list signed by pretty much every single recognizable actress that Sweden has had during the last decades.

All media/showbiz/entertainment men who are Very Vocal Feminists are now suspect af.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:04 PM on November 9 [70 favorites]


So, was never a huge LCK fan, but one night several years back when I couldn't sleep, I watched one of LCK's cable specials on demand. Was mostly tepid with it, but chuckled occasionally at this bit or that bit. It was late, I was tired. But then there was a section that I thought was very funny, and just unusually smart (I honestly have no idea what it was about, anymore). So the next night I wanted to share that bit with my wife, but for some reason didn't just fast forward all the way to that point. Instead, I just started up the show and let it play.

My wife has a very similar sense of humor to mine, but she was giving me the stink eye the whole time, like, "Why are you subjecting me to this creep?" She had immediately sensed his nature in a way that I had (unusually for me) passed off as shtick. By the time the bit came on she was in no mood to enjoy it and I was sufficiently embarrassed to never want to listen to LCK ever again. He now reeked of authentic creepiness to me, too.

By comparison, when I shared my favorite scenes from The Aristocrats, I think my wife laughed harder than I did. She's not a prude, in other words. She just knows a sex offender when she hears one charge people to listen to him all but admit it.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 3:08 PM on November 9 [22 favorites]


[Please refresh, deleted a comment and some replies. There is no earthly good to be found splitting hairs about the precise definition of this particular sexual assault.]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:12 PM on November 9 [12 favorites]


I knew Kevin Spacey was guilty because I know people who have worked on productions with Kevin Spacey and everybody knew he was a sexual predator. Louis being a serial sexual offender isn't especially surprising, because I'm not just not really surprised when it turns out that some dude is a serial sexual offender.

I have already begun searching for a job outside the film biz because I just don't know now how many sexual predators I'm providing tech support for. As far as I'm aware, at the moment, there aren't openly secret scumbags at the lot I work on, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before one of our execs gets named and then I have to think about whether or not I can refuse to provide support for him without getting fired.
posted by curiousgene at 3:13 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


I was working on a post about this, and of all the data points I had in my notepad, I wanted to mention that Jodie Kantor, Cara Buckley, and Melena Ryzik have been blowing doors open with their investigative reporting on sexual assault by powerful men.

Also, I hope LCK falls as hard and as fast as Weinstein, mostly because of his "No, I'm an ally, really, now can I come on you?" grossness. But then, he always gave me the heebie jeebies, and I never really got his brand of humor.

Re his publicist Lewis Kaye, I can't speak to what sort of person he is, or who he represents, but currently, he appears to be doing the job of a publicist, which is to try and deflect bad press.

But his manager, Dave Becky, partner at 3 Arts, producer of CK's latest film and a profoundly influential figure in comedy and television, is a nasty, nasty, nasty bit of work. Have you ever met someone and the first thing you think is "Oh god, I hope he doesn't remember my name?", and the urge to wash your hands is so strong you have to leave the room? That's Dave Becky. He promoted, protected and nurtured a predator and tried to silence and destroy the victims of that predator. He's a bad man, and I hope his fall is legendary.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:14 PM on November 9 [75 favorites]


I've always put him in the same group as George Carlin, the guy who always gets quoted here about advertising, Andy Kaufman, and Lenny Bruce. Many male friends have tried to convince me those guys are funny, but they've never made me laugh.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:26 PM on November 9 [12 favorites]


Secondly: there are a bunch of high-profile comedians who need to weigh in on this like yesterday or else be badly guilty by association. Everyone else repped by his agent (so, what, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, can't remember who else).

It's interesting that one of the plot points on Master of None season 2 was Dev (played by Ansari) being caught up in charges of sexual harassment lodged against the co-host of a food show that represented a big break for the actor. I'm really wondering whether is was a co-incidence.
posted by layceepee at 3:28 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


I have already begun searching for a job outside the film biz because I just don't know now how many sexual predators I'm providing tech support for

Here's something I don't have a good handle on - do we really have reason to believe that the entertainment industry has a higher fraction of predatory men compared to any other highish prestige sector, vs access to more potential victims and greater visibility / attention if their crimes come to light? I mean I know Broadway and Hollywood have their own peculiar pathologies but so do law, finance, politics and the academy, just to pick some obvious ones.
posted by PMdixon at 3:30 PM on November 9 [28 favorites]


you are lumping sexual abusers in with us. Please do not do that.

Sorry. I honestly didn't mean it as an excuse for this kind of behaviour, or to imply that having a diagnosis makes you abuse people. But I hope that if I would find myself having urges like that, I would seek help.
posted by ikalliom at 3:31 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Looks like Matthew Weiner is next: Former ‘Mad Men’ Writer Starts Nonprofit After Alleged Harassment

That article wants an email for the full thing, there's a summary here.
posted by rewil at 3:33 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


do we really have reason to believe that the entertainment industry has a higher fraction of predatory men compared to any other highish prestige sector

None whatsoever. One woman I met at a professional event told me she switch from finance to tech in large part to get away from the sleaze and misogyny. She switched to the tech industry.

This shit happens everywhere, whether we hear about it or not.

(And by "we", I generally mean men.)
posted by AlSweigart at 3:39 PM on November 9 [36 favorites]


louis ck always gave me the same vibe as joss whedon so im not surprised
posted by entropicamericana at 3:43 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


I just wonder why he stayed silent for so long. Somebody is eventually going to learn that the only way forward is to admit wrongdoing and wholeheartedly apologize to the victims and the country. Every time they have their lawyer or publicist attack the victim it makes them look even worse.
posted by Megafly at 3:43 PM on November 9


I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen widespread acknowledgement that this behavior is objectively bad and harmful

Hmm, I was younger then and maybe adults then had a different experience, but I remembered how Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and then the child molestation trials occurred and he instantly became a ghoul that was the butt of every joke. He didn't really get any sort of image change until his death in 2009.
posted by FJT at 3:44 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


OK, so, between Spacey, who was one of my favorite actors, and now Louie, who was one of my favorite comedians, I've been thinking a lot about this recent wave of allegations against high profile men who have been accused of being sexual predators.

I completely understand we need to believe the victim when they come forward. Of course we do. We can't call them a liar or accuse them of being spiteful or whatever because that could only cause the victim more harm. But where is the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

Because as cases like Brian Banks or Ched Evans shows us, not every victim actually is telling the truth. Why as a culture is it seemingly impossible for us to say words to the effect that we don't automatically assume a victim is lying but until their claims are proven true we're not going to destroy the life of a potentially innocent person?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:45 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


Finally just a simple, clear summary of the allegations. Now I can finally think through how it affects how I see him.

Yep, that was creepy bad stuff he did. Can’t see any way to see it otherwise. I kept hoping it was just about “Ewww, he masturbates! And he’s gross!” But this is legitimately gross and indefensible behavior.
posted by saulgoodman at 3:47 PM on November 9


I think people get unsettled, not even just the big fans, by the fact that in a case like this, hey, this is a guy who said some stuff that resonated with them at some points. I think Hollywood creates this weird tendency for people to feel like, you know, you see a guy in a few things and you don't even necessarily love him but you've liked some of it pretty well, and now you have a sort of feeling about him like he's a friend of yours. Not your best friend, but a friend. ...

Yeah. I'm not a super-fan of Hoffman, CK or Spacey but I liked their stuff and just had a nice feeling about them as humans - which of course was me filling in the gaps around the small bit of information I had about them. I especially loved that youtube video of Hoffman talking about his role on Tootsie that went viral a while back. It used meant a lot to me then but ... this taints everything.

Lately, the problem of evil is not something I can stop thinking about. And although I know this is not rational thinking, it just seems like something horrible is very likely hiding behind the most benign faces in my life - my boss, my choir director, my uncle, my building super, the grandfatherly gent I buy my breakfast from on the regular ... ugh. I've noticed a difference in my sense of openness and security with almost all the men in my life.
posted by bunderful at 3:51 PM on November 9 [14 favorites]


> But where is the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

That middle ground gets torched every time someone with power uses the presumption of innocence to silence a victim.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 3:54 PM on November 9 [108 favorites]


These articles are well-sourced and the allegations are corroborated in a bunch of different arenas. They are about as watertight as allegations of sexual assault can be. If anyone "destroyed the life of a potentially innocent person," it was Louie. And Kevin Spacey. Not the people they abused.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:55 PM on November 9 [114 favorites]


But where is the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

The middle ground has been thoroughly eliminated by public victim blaming (including by expensive attorneys), prosecutorial indifference, and the fact that the vast majority of sexual assaults go unreported due to the above. If Louis wants to clear his name, he can file a libel suit and enjoy the discovery process that goes along with it. If he declines, and instead attempts to discredit his accusers in the press, then I suppose you have your answer.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:57 PM on November 9 [96 favorites]


the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

The middle ground, such as it is and if it even exists, is when such accusations are vague gossip and rumors. The middle ground is definitively gone when the accusations are meticulously sourced and the subject of major news publications' reporting.
posted by yasaman at 4:00 PM on November 9 [42 favorites]


They are about as watertight as allegations of sexual assault can be.

So I think the headline uses the phrase "sexual misconduct" pretty carefully.*

As far as I can read, he never touched anyone. (maybe he did? but mostly not) So it's not technically assault. From the article it seems like there was not repeated issues with specific women, he just went from woman to woman doing the same garbage. So it's not harassment (I guess?)

Anyway, kind of sad that we have so many specific shades of gross unacceptable behaviour but there it is.

* I don't want anyone to think that I'm judging him as being better or worse that anyone else abusing women, but I think the writers have to walk a legal fine line about how they describe his behaviour. He's gross, it's abuse.
posted by GuyZero at 4:02 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


[We are absolutely not having the But It Wouldn't Stand Up In Court Therefore We Should Ignore it argument here. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:03 PM on November 9 [69 favorites]


As I've pointed out in other threads, sexual assaulters rarely do it just once, to one victim only. It's almost always serial. Sexual assault is not about sex, but about power and dominance and humiliating the victim - which feminists have been pointing out for many years.

So when more than one victim comes forward to a reputable publication, yes, I think there is fire underneath all that smoke.

These are not "recovered memories" we're talking about here.

I am glad to see more and more people coming forward about assaults they have suffered at the hands of the rich and famous. The more these things are not confined to the whisper network (so ordinary people hear about them, not just those plugged in), and the more opprobrium directed to the assaulters, and maybe they lose their money and their fame and all that good stuff, maybe sexual assaulters will think twice.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:07 PM on November 9 [22 favorites]


On the upside, this whole thing might be the most efficient rape-culture-apologist detector I've ever seen
posted by theodolite at 4:07 PM on November 9 [115 favorites]


I'm comfortable calling someone else masturbating at me without my consent sexual assault, even if that's not exactly what they would be charged with in court.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:07 PM on November 9 [95 favorites]


But where is the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

A thing I've been noticing is that it's almost never a single allegation by a single victim, and their stories are often very consistent with each other. I don't need "proof"--which often doesn't exist in cases like this, at least not in the form of witnesses, physical evidence, etc--when there are 5 or 10 or more than hundred people all saying, "Here's what happened to me with this guy."

I mean, I wasn't 100% sure what to think about Spacey when Anthony Rupp made the first accusation. 30 years ago? A lot of us did things 30 years ago we wouldn't do now. I, for instance, had sex 30 years ago that definitely fell into the category of "dubious consent"--for instance, I once had sex in college because a guy I'd been on a date with was pushing for it and I knew that the quickest way to get him out of my room so I could go to sleep was to just let him do it. I stopped doing that kind of thing when I was 20 or so, and I think that at least some of my partners in dub-con likely also learned better.

In high school I continued pursuing a boy who had made it clear he wasn't interested in me--I'd asked him out at least twice, and he'd said no, but I continued leaving him gifts on his car and at his house and calling-and-hanging-up and making a kind of project of my crush on him. I'd call that harassment now, and I wish someone had told me to cut it the fuck out. I was 16 or 17 and I don't think I ever engaged in behavior like that again, and if I saw him again, I would probably apologize to him. If someone told that story and said, "Orlop is a sexual harasser!" I'd tell them what I just told you, and there would be nothing further because there is nobody else to come forward, and after a bit, I hope people would be able to say, "Orlop behaved badly when she was young but she grew out of it and has been a good person with strong opinions about consent for decades now."

The point is: when more men started coming forward about Spacey, all my doubts went away. This nearly always happens: more people come forward, and their stories are credible and consistent, and that's all I need to feel assured that we're not condemning some poor innocent.
posted by Orlop at 4:10 PM on November 9 [86 favorites]


Effigy, and we're pointing out that the nature of power is the ability to own that middle ground, and so that well is poisoned. That's why it's called toxic masculinity. It corrodes everything it touches, including the values we hold dear. That is why we proverbially can't have nice things.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:11 PM on November 9 [10 favorites]


Another way to think of it is like this: "Innocent until proven guilty" is designed to punch up. It's there to protect the weak against the powerful (government). Powerful people don't get to use it to punch down.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:17 PM on November 9 [55 favorites]


Yeah. I'm not a super-fan of Hoffman, CK or Spacey but I liked their stuff and just had a nice feeling about them as humans

With the possible exception of Hoffman, I did not have nice feelings about these guys as humans. I wonder if my predator-dar was honed by my decades in leftist communities in which I was early exposed to men who used the language of feminism to--I'm not sure of my word here. Be creeps to women, I guess? I had a housemate in a big lefty co-op in Ann Arbor back in 1986 who had learned about gendered insults, and he liked to tell women what he knew, and eventually I realized that the uncomfortable feeling I got from this was because he was basically using talking about how many gendered insults there are for women versus men as an excuse to sit down with a woman and say, "Cunt, bitch, whore, slut..." That was the beginning of my education in how to spot ally-predators.

Also, a few years later, I met a lesbian couple, friends of my then-girlfriend. One of them would talk all the time about how she could never cheat on her lover because she was a terrible liar and her lover would immediately know. And then she invited me to lunch, which I thought was her reaching out to a new person in town but turned out to be her trying to fuck me, and I realized that all that "I could never cheat" talk was a cover. So I learned to spot that kind of thing, too.

I dunno. I have yet to be surprised by anyone who's been accused of sexual predation, but it's so common that I'm not sure I could be surprised. Sexual predation by powerful men is so common that, while I can think of men I'd be disappointed by, I'm not sure surprise is possible.
posted by Orlop at 4:19 PM on November 9 [41 favorites]


do we really have reason to believe that the entertainment industry has a higher fraction of predatory men compared to any other highish prestige sector
No, we probably don't. And I know that that it happens everywhere, in every industry. But I know that people I've worked with here, that I have spoken to, have been friends with Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey, and Louis CK, and have financed their projects and voted for them for awards, and been to their houses for holidays, and even now are probably commiserating with them about how unfair everything is.

I just feel like an enabler by even being here.
posted by curiousgene at 4:22 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


It's any industry in which men are in positions of power.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:25 PM on November 9 [26 favorites]


Or which contain men.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 4:26 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Or humans.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 4:26 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


But mostly men.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 4:26 PM on November 9 [34 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of wonder if the other men defending him now are going to be found out to be abusers. My suspicion is yes.
posted by corb at 4:28 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


But where is the middle ground between "we have to believe the victim" and "let's not automatically condemn the accused because there's this concept of innocent until proven guilty"?

For me it's largely a matter of how many accusers a person has. Rob Lowe, for instance, has been accused of sexual harassment by two of his children's nannies. If it were only one and if he had no past history of sexual misconduct, I'd be willing to withhold judgement on the matter and say, "Okay, it might be true, it might also not be true, I don't know which." But when there are two of his household employees alleging harassment and when he also has that ugly past incident getting charged with having videotape sex in a motel room with a 16-year-old girl when he was 24, then I feel he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt in my personal opinion -- a court of law would be a different matter.

I am not one to say that one should always believe women without exception. There are such things as false accusations. A former tenant of mine got arrested several years back. I didn't know why at the time, though I was aware he had been having substance abuse issues. He abandoned the basement apartment of my house, leaving it in a disastrous condition and owing me a lot of back rent. Turned out that he'd been accused of rape by a woman who, with her boyfriend, was supplying him with drugs. He was arrested and the police told him they had DNA evidence, though it had yet to be tested. His only alibi was that he'd come back to his apartment and spent the evening doing drugs and cruising the net. After the arrest, he wasn't allowed to come back to his apartment because it was within the vicinity of the bar where he had supposedly assaulted this woman. He lost his part-time jobs and everything he owned and, left without resources and given his addiction issues, became homeless. It wasn't until several months later that the charges were dropped because it was found that the DNA did not match his. The woman had been raped, but by her boyfriend, not my former tenant. She was angry with my tenant for having gotten into an argument with her over how she and her boyfriend had ripped him off on a drug sale, and I suppose she's probably herself a drug addict and very messed up and confused, which also would have contributed.

Had I known of the specific charge at the time, I think I would have withheld judgement on it, because my tenant lived in the basement of my house for three years and never once made me feel threatened in any way -- if anything, he showed such concern for my safety that I felt safer with him in the house. I could see him getting into some bar fight with another guy, but not preying on a woman. However, hypothetically speaking, if I were to learn that there were multiple accusations made against him by women who didn't know each other, I'd have to concede they were almost certainly true, regardless of how much it conflicted with my own experience with him or how much I didn't want to believe it.

Decent men do not get accused of predatory behaviour by multiple accusers. It just doesn't happen.
posted by orange swan at 4:31 PM on November 9 [60 favorites]


I can't wait for this to trickle all the way down.

I think the tech industry is ripe, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg there.

No idea what's next, but we wont be done until Burger King shift managers and the like start fearing for their jobs at least.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 4:32 PM on November 9 [12 favorites]


I just wonder why he stayed silent for so long.

Because he didn't want to stop.
posted by misfish at 4:33 PM on November 9 [12 favorites]


Do we really have reason to believe that the entertainment industry has a higher fraction of predatory men compared to any other highish prestige sector, vs access to more potential victims and greater visibility / attention if their crimes come to light

No. Any place where you have people with power and people without power sets up a dichotomy between people who can get away with things and people who can have things done to them, people who will and won't be believed, people who are worth protecting and people who are not. Academia. Lindy hop. Prisons. Hollywood. High schools. Families.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:36 PM on November 9 [31 favorites]


Damn, I accidentally deleted the first part of my comment, it was about how in some places the narrative is becoming "Hollywood is rotten to the core, nuke it from orbit" while I'd like to see "the culture is rotten to the core, and it took brave people in Hollywood to start speaking up for the rest of us to start listening".
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 4:37 PM on November 9 [32 favorites]


> "I'm a disgusting, awful pervert but so are all of you" isn't actually funny to those of us who aren't awful, disgusting perverts.

Oh yeah, that brand of dude who seems progressive but what he's really saying is: "hey, all us guys are terrible, right? And we agree that we're all terrible in this particular way and we agree that it's just Essence of Dude so you can't criticize me and you implicitly have my back, right?" like he wants to have his bro-code-cake and eat it too.
posted by postcommunism at 4:40 PM on November 9 [39 favorites]


I like to think that this wave of righteous outrage is a direct result of having "out and proud" serial abuser Trump in the White House. He's inspired those who were silent for years to speak out against this kind of nonsense.

So whenever I see one of these news stories about another powerful serial abuser getting called out on his abuses, I'm just going to say:

Thanks Trump
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 4:42 PM on November 9 [30 favorites]


Do we really have reason to believe that the entertainment industry has a higher fraction of predatory men compared to any other highish prestige sector, vs access to more potential victims and greater visibility / attention if their crimes come to light

No, they have a higher concentration of people with celebrity status who seek and cultivate visibility and who depend on their appeal to the public for their value. A celebrity can lose their entire career and professional network as a result of allegations, and it will all play out more publicly than the case of someone in an industry that doesn't depend on celebrity and visibility.

A manager at a small company that most people have never heard of doing similar things would probably not make the news, and they'd be unlikely to suffer anywhere near the professional consequences a celebrity would for the very same actions.

I'm really hoping the celebrity cases will raise awareness and the willingness to take action that will carry over into less visible domains. I think the fight will be harder there, there are more shadows to hide in.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:46 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Damn, I accidentally deleted the first part of my comment, it was about how in some places the narrative is becoming "Hollywood is rotten to the core, nuke it from orbit" while I'd like to see "the culture is rotten to the core, and it took brave people in Hollywood to start speaking up for the rest of us to start listening".

Yes yes yes.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:48 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of wonder if the other men defending him now are going to be found out to be abusers. My suspicion is yes.

Some of them, maybe? My suspicion, though, is that most are more abuse-adjacent. They may not be abusers themselves, directly, but may still profit from their relationships to the abusers. Some may go through extreme mental contortions so they can plausibly deny to themselves that they are turning a blind eye; while others may truly (consciously) enable or even collude for profit.

I guess my point is that it seems to take a village of assholes to raise just one serial abuser. So given how many serial abusers there are, I guess it's a big old world of fucking assholes.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 4:50 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


On the upside, this whole thing might be the most efficient rape-culture-apologist detector I've ever seen

I had a professor in college who taught creative nonfiction. He used to tell us again and again, "not confession, but revelation!" It's tempting to think that if you dump your flaws on the page, that you're engaging in something meaningful for others -- but confession alone isn't the thing that takes your reader somewhere new. It's not enough.

I used to watch Louis CK's stuff and kind of feel like there might be some greater revelation around the corner, that there was even something beautiful in his Conan interview about crying over Bruce Springsteen or whatever.. but I always felt like it ultimately went to this dead end. Or more accurately, to this place of "I'm an empty anti-hero, we're all empty anti-heroes, let's be comforted by that together." I knew several guys who found something intensely meaningful or hilarious in what Louis was doing, but that weird lack of insight and revelation and empathy always made me uncomfortable. Confession isn't really for the person being confessed to.

But also, I'm biased. I ran into one of those avowed Louis CK fan guys at a hometown wedding last month. I hadn't seen this guy much since going through gender transition, and he gave me a very flowery nice guy you-look-lovely pep talk while subtly groping me as his girlfriend got him a drink. Fuck flaws and confession and pathos.
posted by elephantsvanish at 4:56 PM on November 9 [31 favorites]


My suspicion, though, is that most are more abuse-adjacent. They may not be abusers themselves, directly, but may still profit from their relationships to the abusers.

and 'profit' can include non-economic profit, too, i think. people defending here might be emotionally invested in friendships or other relationships, whether with LCK or with people who might have done similar things. or they're emotionally invested in the characters LCK plays, and somehow afraid that if he's a monster, they're one, too, and are consequently unable to confront those fears.
posted by halation at 4:57 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


I used to use Louie's bit about time travel and whiteness in my class when students were having a hard time understanding the notion of unearned white privilege and so on. It never failed to kill, and it made them think.

So I'm not going to say "I always thought this" ... in fact, I was hoping it was false. But there's been no plausible deniability for at least a year, and I'm sad and angry.

He is smart. He is funny. I'll never watch his stuff again, and I hope he serves time.
posted by allthinky at 4:58 PM on November 9 [22 favorites]


I haven't been a fan of Louis C.K. for quite some time. He's always been a bit smarmy. And some of his jokes on race have rubbed me the wrong way. Sadly, none of this is too surprising. 2017 has brought to light too many of these cockroaches. Only good thing about all of this is that these monsters are being exposed.

I believe these women and I hope that this further solidifies that this type of behavior is not acceptable and should not be shrugged aside or condoned in any way. Louis C.K. can go fuck himself. Disgusting.
posted by Fizz at 5:04 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


Maybe we need a 50 year moratorium on cis het white male comics. That might clear the field.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:19 PM on November 9 [17 favorites]


If you're not on a jury or otherwise in the courtroom and the only time you trot out innocent until proven guilty is in defense of sexual predators, then, I dunno, be a better person.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 5:19 PM on November 9 [121 favorites]


Damn, I accidentally deleted the first part of my comment, it was about how in some places the narrative is becoming "Hollywood is rotten to the core, nuke it from orbit" while I'd like to see "the culture is rotten to the core, and it took brave people in Hollywood to start speaking up for the rest of us to start listening".

This is the same thing that happened with Gamergate & nerd culture, where the narrative quickly became that there is something especially, characteristically misogynistic about geek subculture when the takeaway should have been that geek culture is not exempt from the misogyny that characterizes the wider society it's a part of.

(This is especially a problem because it provokes a defensive reaction from people for whom nerd culture or the tech scene or whatever has been an important and valued community, and it doesn't need to -- those subcultures aren't the problem, the wider culture in which they exist is.)
posted by waffleriot at 5:27 PM on November 9 [30 favorites]


As far as I can read, he never touched anyone

The exact wording of the law varies by jurisdiction, but...

"To commit a sexual assault, it was not necessary for the appellant to touch or even verbally threaten the complainant. A person’s act or gesture, without words, force or any physical contact, can constitute a threat to apply force of a sexual nature, if it intentionally creates in another person an apprehension of imminent harm or offensive contact that affronts the person’s sexual integrity. "
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:30 PM on November 9 [15 favorites]


Decent men do not get accused of predatory behaviour by multiple accusers. It just doesn't happen.

This.

I really feel for the women who accused Trump and were mostly dismissed. It was only a short time ago but the reception seems so different.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:32 PM on November 9 [23 favorites]


Orlop: But I wonder if anybody who does see it coming will step forward to get ahead of it, if that makes sense. Like, is anybody starting to think that they have a better chance of weathering it if they speak up before their victims do?

I'd guess that many of them are hoping to be exposed after it becomes commonplace. Like, remember when mass shootings were a new thing, and every single instance caused weeks of discussion and analysis and news? And now they only get extended coverage if they, like, break a record?
posted by clawsoon at 5:32 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I was performing at the same improv theater as Dana & Julia, the first two women from the NY Times article, around the time of the events they described. They were smart, tough, original, vulgar, funny — there was a lot of buzz around their show, and they seemed destined for stardom, much moreso than a lot of the people (men) who have become pretty well known from that time & place. I moved away a few months later and have occasionally wondered what happened to them, why they never broke through. Figured it was the quirks and unlucky breaks of show business or something.

Turns out, they had doors closed in their faces because a guy jacked off in front of them.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 5:40 PM on November 9 [142 favorites]


Not ten minutes before this story broke, I said in a conversation Louis CK was next to fall and it was just a matter of time.
posted by greta simone at 5:59 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


They had doors closed in their faces because a guy jacked off in front of them.

This is what burns. This is why I want to see anyone who helped enable this abuse burned. These women had their dreams crushed because a man picked them to violate. And everyone knew, but everyone went along with it.

Burn it all.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:01 PM on November 9 [93 favorites]


Louie has IMHO done at least a few truly excellent bits, but since the rumors about this started coming out a year or so ago, well... no thanks.
posted by edheil at 6:27 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


2 of my 3 favorite movies are made by Hitchcock (look it up) and Woody Allen. I don't watch them anymore. I LOVED Louis CK but as soon as I heard the first accusation I knew it was true - BECAUSE HE TOLD US ABOUT HIMSELF ALREADY. I have multiple Cosby bits memorized, they only pop up in my nightmares now. You can find an old account of mine here loving James Deen. I have a bad eye for abusers, sure, but as soon as I hear about them I know its true - because all these men will tell you if you are just open to hear it. Loving them once is no crime, continuing to love and support them once you know who they are? Well, that's another story.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 6:47 PM on November 9 [43 favorites]


Buzzfeed's news reporting is just getting better and better: Louis C.K. Told Us Who He Was, But That Doesn’t Make It Better
posted by elsietheeel at 7:10 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


I've known quite a few abusers in my lifetime, and my experience has been that abusers give themselves away really, really quickly. I've never been physically or sexually assaulted by any of the men I've dated, and while that's partly due to luck, it's also true that in many cases I was pretty damn quick to shut things down once I saw red flags. The first giveaway is conversational cues. Abusive men tend to be very overbearing in conversation. They'll interrupt a lot, argue with everything a woman says, sneer at what she says, make bullshit corrections, etc.

And when it comes to famous men, the warning signs are in their work. I find that so many of these predatory famous men are being outed are men whose work I either never liked at all or had serious issues with. Hitchcock's female characters were routinely humiliated or abused in some way. Audrey Hepburn really wanted to do a Hitchcock movie, but she ended up never doing so because the only script he offered her featured her character getting raped in a park. I've always fucking hated Woody Allen movies. As I said upthread, I never had the slightest interest in checking out Louis CK's work. I admired Kevin Spacey's acting while always finding his characters and him somewhat repulsive personally. Bill Cosby I actually believed to be a more or less decent man, but there was some seriously problematic writing on The Cosby Show, and there were also his awful political views -- and for God's sake, he did stand up material about slipping women roofies back in the 1960s, though I never heard that until after I knew about his predatory behaviour. Perhaps we all need to be less accepting of misogyny in art, to see it as the garbage and the warning sign it is, rather than letting it slide because we enjoy other aspects of its creator's work.
posted by orange swan at 7:12 PM on November 9 [61 favorites]


"Innocent until proven guilty" absolutely punches down. It is a punch in the face to women, who are nearly always the accusers in these situations, whereas men almost exclusively benefit from it.
What are rape conviction rates like? How many sexual assaults ever even get REPORTED because of these inequities? The myth of the all powerful government with its prosecutorial might is laughable when it comes to sex crimes. It's not even funny how much our legal system is designed to protect male privilege in every possible way.
posted by Mallenroh at 7:15 PM on November 9 [24 favorites]


The dude’s a reflection of everyday normal dudes.

I mean, there’s a lotta really terrible and shitty abusive, powertripping sexual behaviors that everyday normal dudes are tacitly permitted to just...do.

So it’s good all this is coming out, but dudes, hold the mirror up to yourself as well.

My time in boymode wasn’t free of being shitty and problematic and terrible and awful either. I own this too.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:19 PM on November 9 [23 favorites]


Maybe women who have been repeatedly victimized respond to abusive men's works and we shouldn't shame them when they try to talk about it.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 7:20 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]



For me it's largely a matter of how many accusers a person has. Rob Lowe, for instance, has been accused of sexual harassment by two of his children's nannies. If it were only one and if he had no past history of sexual misconduct, I'd be willing to withhold judgement on the matter and say, "Okay, it might be true, it might also not be true, I don't know which."


women go to such lengths to band together and put together an airtight mutually supported multiply sourced case, and this is the result: you can believe five women (next year we'll say ten; standards move) but a woman alone is still as likely to be a liar as not.

what this says to men: the first one's free.

I mean I know they know this already. they know it very well, they don't need to be taught or encouraged to know that the first one's free, that you need two or more women speaking in unison to equal the word of a man by himself. but stop it everybody. stop it now. this is an awful perversion of victim solidarity and an awful frame to put around the experience. this is why nobody wants to say something first, because if you're the first, you might be the only one. You don't know until you stand up and find out how many people want to 'withhold judgment" about the crimes against you.

and you might be the only one! it is likely but obviously, absolutely and obviously not guaranteed that a man will rape or assault or harass more than one women. Some men only beat their wives and only ever have one. and everybody starts somewhere; every abuser has a first victim, and she's always the only one at first. and the worst lesson to take away from this is that you should wait until their are two or more to take it seriously. the very worst.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:22 PM on November 9 [163 favorites]


Been waiting for this one since the Weinstein wave started; I, too, have heard the rumors for years. I would say, I can't believe there are people who hadn't already heard this, but a friend tonight was reading the story totally flabbergasted.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:29 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


"Innocent until proven guilty" absolutely punches down. It is a punch in the face to women, who are nearly always the accusers in these situations, whereas men almost exclusively benefit from it.

It's also a legal, courtroom standard. Nobody but a sworn juror is bound by it, so I'll think and say whatever I damn well like about this gross piece of shit and be as judgmental as I please, thank you very much. Just like if I tell a Nazi to shut the fuck up, it's not "censorship" or a First Amendment violation, because I'm not, you know, the government.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:33 PM on November 9 [55 favorites]


louis ck is not just the shittiest comedian I have ever hated long before knowing for a fact he was a sexual abuser but the first man to make me angry enough to write their for there since I was a goddamn pre-schooler. just goes to show. something.

the Tig Notaro thing makes me madder than anything because I remember when he was everyone's precious plaster saint for championing her or whatever you call it. and I don't have as much direct experience with sexual victimization as many women do, but I have a lot of experience with men doing me extremely overbearing -to-nonconsensual "favors" whose main object is to make me feel like a churlish ingrate if I criticize anything else they do around the same time, or even let on how much I did not ask for this favor. and I never do, I just say Thank you and then fume on my own time.

congratulations to Tig Notaro for removing his imposed gratitude and being so clear about it. fuck him for trying to hitch his jerkwagon to her star.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:39 PM on November 9 [49 favorites]


I loved Louis CK, I loved his stuff. Not 100% of his bits landed, but some landed hard. I never got a creepy vibe off of him.

I've been hearing rumors and hoping they weren't true.

Goddammit.
posted by panglos at 7:49 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


The "This would be rape if you weren't so stupid," scene from Louie has haunted me since I saw it because it's clearly not the kind of scene that someone would write for a supposedly sympathetic, yet dopey or complicated, character. The scene was 100% assault and 0% a learning moment or forgivable. Someone has to have no clue about how consent really works to think that they could have their character finish that scene and go on to future seasons as the dopey good guy.
posted by Skwirl at 7:52 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


If you're not on a jury or otherwise in the courtroom and the only time you trot out innocent until proven guilty is in defense of sexual predators, then, I dunno, be a better person.

My husband was recently on a jury in an aggravated sexual assault case. He was AMAZED by the lengths people on the jury went to NOT to convict the guy. Because it was aggravated, she had to have been "in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury" and the majority of the jury basically said they couldn't read her mind so they had no way of knowing if she was really truly afraid, DESPITE THE FACT HE'D BEATEN HER BLOODY ALREADY. (Ultimately he was found partially guilty and given probation and no jail time...I wish my husband had fought for a hung jury, but that was literally the best they could do against the victim-blaming attitudes of most of the jurors.)

Just...rape culture isn't just an abstract concept. It means you can't get law-and-order Republican jurors to convict even the most obvious and egregious cases of rape. And all of this is connected.
posted by threeturtles at 7:56 PM on November 9 [118 favorites]


I have a friend who is an exceptional tattoo artist who specializes in portraits who wanted to do one on me of a celebrity of my choice at a conference since I'm ink free. This has been for several years.
Frankly, I haven't been able choose someone who is 1. Living or 2. Male
A lot to do because of things like this.
Keep the outing coming...
posted by hillabeans at 8:11 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Funny, my mental health is completely fucked but, as far as I know, I'm not a sexual predator...

Same here.

Plus I have had relationships with both men and women.

And I have been drunk.

And I am not a predator either.

And I am a white male.

Damn it, statistical outlier AGAIN! And I thought I was fitting in better this time.
posted by Samizdata at 8:13 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Since these these things have been in the air for quite a while now, has anyone seen any thoughtful pieces about how to think about Better Things? I think of it as Adlon's show, love many aspects of it, and it clearly positions itself in a strongly feminist space, which I also love. But many of the episodes are co-written or even 100%-written by Louis CK, and having known of and believed in these accusations for years, I've had trouble figuring out how I should feel about the show while watching it. Knowing there are terrific women working behind and in front of the camera who deeply believe in what the show is doing helps, and is what I mainly focus on while watching, but there's still been this cloud hanging over the whole thing that I could neither dismiss, nor did I want to reject the whole project because of. Now that the Louis CK accusations have broken into the mainstream though, this seems like a more unavoidable issue. Of course, the solution in the future is to drop him from the show, that's not the issue, it was more about how to think about the past and current episodes in a way that balances my feelings about (against) Louis CK with my feelings for all the other strong women behind the show and its explicitly feminist content.
posted by chortly at 8:56 PM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I went and took a long nap, and even though hours have passed, I want to say something about my comment up-thread.

When I said:
The point is: when more men started coming forward about Spacey, all my doubts went away.
I want to be clear that I did not mean that I had doubts about Anthony Rapp's story. I believed as soon as I heard it that it happened as he described it. I didn't, however, immediately assume that Spacey had committed other similar acts habitually, or had necessarily continued them to the present day, and I was willing to entertain the possibility that he had, in the intervening years, learned better.
posted by Orlop at 9:19 PM on November 9 [5 favorites]


The Great David S. Pumpkins: I keep trying to tell you people, RETAIL. Felt up in countless stockrooms, invitations to suck dick at least three times a month, comments on outfits and oggling and even following women customers around the store. Calling cahiers fuckable and fireable...it's RAMPANT and I can't even stand here and tell you I was never apart of gossip and shit talking. If i mic'd myself you would be blown away. Most of you know what I'm talking about.
posted by markbrendanawitzmissesus at 9:20 PM on November 9 [36 favorites]


I never liked watching LCK; it made me feel depressed because he was so obviously miserable. Maybe he was miserable because he knew he was a horrible person. Similarly, I always thought Cosby seemed angry.

When the allegations about LCK were posted here previously I said that his coy almost-admissions seemed self-destructive. Maybe the exposure will actually come as a relief to him: he'll finally be treated the way he deserves.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:32 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


The idea that "abusers are innocent until proven guilty" is not a neutral thing to believe.

Because the flip side of what you mean is, "abuse victims are liars until proven truthful".
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:55 PM on November 9 [79 favorites]


I've pretty much started to assume all male celebrities are terrible, and then I just remembered Terry Crews and if Terry Crews goes down by God there's no hope for anybody anymore


As far as I can read, he never touched anyone. (maybe he did? but mostly not) So it's not technically assault.

The guy who masturbated in front of me was charged with sexual assault. It wasn't a "high" degree, like fourth?, but it was definitely under that heading.
posted by schroedinger at 10:17 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


there is absolutely 100% no reason to start rules lawyering whether or not something "technically" counts as assault ever, in any case, the end, good day.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:24 PM on November 9 [59 favorites]


I don't think any of these guys will be rich forever. It's costly to have a big house and security and a staff, and then throw in all the legal fees...with no income coming in, that'll rack up.

I'm with orangeswan: I can tell if someone's a dick most of the time, Cosby was the only real surprise for me since he did come off as America's dad/too old for that and I never heard any of the Spanish fly jokes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:24 PM on November 9


ok, so, people who are good at reading these things . . . Terry Crews is OK, right? There's no other shoe dropping with Terry Crews?
posted by schroedinger at 10:31 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed's news reporting is just getting better and better: Louis C.K. Told Us Who He Was, But That Doesn’t Make It Better
posted by elsietheeel at 9:10 PM on November 9 [2 favorites +] [!]


Allison Wilmore's article on his new movie is likewise very, very good: it articulates with crushing precision how CK's apparent engagement with issues of coercion and consent consistently add up to self-serving misdirection away from the bedrock reality of how men on the business end of power imbalance exploit that imbalance to hurt people in the service of their own gratification. Caveat lector for those (like me) who counted themselves as fans, having to get it spelled out for you like this may make you feel even a little bit more stupid.

After reading the Times article and before coming here to check the inevitable discussion I dug up the last email I'd gotten from the mailing list I'd been on since his site went up (plugging the movie of course) and hit unsubscribe. I can only hope it was one of a very large number of similar clicks. I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to stomach reading the promised written response his publicist says is imminent.
posted by nanojath at 10:51 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


I’m glad that this article vindicates so many of you who never liked him. I’ve had issues with plenty of his material, but he always seemed to be striving to reassess his problematic views and become a better person, and honestly, I saw him as kind of a kindred spirit. I’m crushed.

The aspect of Louis’s comedy that i have always liked best is the way he describes compulsion. Reconciling wanting to be a good person with the fact that you repeatedly do things that you know are bad, things that you sincerely don’t want to be doing. The way he describes his relationship with food is the best and most relatable depiction of addiction that I’ve ever come across. It honestly seems cathartic for him, like a therapeutic exercise, defusing shame by bringing it out into the open. It’s definitely cathartic for me to watch it. In retrospect, though, so much of it seems like coded language for these other things that he was doing, behavior so legitimately shameful that he would never be able to share it.

The fact that he obviously felt ashamed, that he tried to reach out and clumsily apologize, that he couldn’t even really lie about it when asked - I don’t know. It makes me feel a little better. I realize and understand that many of you may have no patience for this sort of thinking. You may even believe it harmful. That’s fine. But the truth is, for years, I’ve been watching a sexual predator publicly work through his shame over being a sexual predator, and I recognized myself in his words. As a woman and as someone who has been harassed & assaulted (but I repeat myself), this is unsettling and I’m still trying to figure out how to even begin to process it.
posted by Maurecia-Flavored Ice Cream at 11:08 PM on November 9 [61 favorites]



Because as cases like Brian Banks or Ched Evans shows us, not every victim actually is telling the truth
.

Americans like me may not know who Ched Evans is. but they may also tend to accept bald assertions of fact in comments such as this one without looking it up. so I will spare my own commentary for once and offer some context.

there's a kind of poison that spreads when you don't know what someone's referring to but just figure they're probably more or less right if they slip it in next to some other example you've heard of, and what harm would it do to assume they're correct about both of them if your argument stands anyway. but we should never assume that, about this. never. irrelevant victim smears in passing that go unchecked because they seem too minor to check are the vilest kind.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:15 PM on November 9 [46 favorites]


I want to be clear that I did not mean that I had doubts about Anthony Rapp's story. I believed as soon as I heard it that it happened as he described it.

I certainly had doubts. Human memories are terribly unreliable.

The fact that multiple other people described creepy interactions with Spacey made that moot.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:33 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


TW: Rape


speaking of rape culture and jury duty, 18 yrs ago I was foreperson on a rape case in Dublin, guy climbed into bed at a party with a girl who was passed out, pulled down her jeans and penetrated her which woke her up, she screams, her best friend in the bed opposite wakes up and they chase the guy away.

2 men in their 50s on the jury would not agree he was guilty because 'you cannot achieve penetration from behind in those circumstances.....' utterly, utterly convinced that would not be physically possible.

The rest of us were gobsmacked and gently started to try to outline that it was in fact possible, then we had to get a bit more graphic, NOTHING swayed these 2 guys, in the end the fucker got off with just assault not rape because of them. It still burns to this day
posted by Wilder at 11:48 PM on November 9 [51 favorites]


Do people realise that "Any smart woman can spot an abuser just by watching him onscreen" is simply another form of victim-blaming?

Also, saying "I knew it!" after allegations become public isn't actually that impressive. If you want to amaze us with your pervdar, tell us who's going to be accused in five years.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 11:49 PM on November 9 [75 favorites]


But the truth is, for years, I’ve been watching a sexual predator publicly work through his shame over being a sexual predator, and I recognized myself in his words. As a woman and as someone who has been harassed & assaulted (but I repeat myself), this is unsettling and I’m still trying to figure out how to even begin to process it.

I'd argue that it was a very subtle form of gaslighting - the idea with the coded language was to get you to identify his struggles with yours, so that you would be more willing to give him slack.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:05 AM on November 10 [22 favorites]


Do people realise that "Any smart woman can spot an abuser just by watching him onscreen" is simply another form of victim-blaming?

Agree. In my experience, abusive people are often well liked, respected, reasonably successful, "decent" (i.e. do conspicuous charity/activism work) people who use all those things as cover and defence for the awful things they do. I'd even say that those that get away with those things over long periods are extremely astute and aware of how public perception and social ties/prestige work to protect them and are flawless actors. I know it's reassuring on a deep, basic level to think you can always pick out the predators but it really isn't true.
posted by everydayanewday at 12:07 AM on November 10 [31 favorites]


This is the same thing that happened with Gamergate & nerd culture, where the narrative quickly became that there is something especially, characteristically misogynistic about geek subculture when the takeaway should have been that geek culture is not exempt from the misogyny that characterizes the wider society it's a part of.

I say this as a someone who is fully a part of my own corner of geek culture.

There is something especially, characteristically misogynistic about geek subculture.

There are also things especially, characteristically misogynistic about many other subcultures.

Culture in general is characteristically misogynistic.
Men have largely been taught to be trash everywhere, but there are places we get to be taught to be trash extra hard.
posted by St. Sorryass at 12:18 AM on November 10 [20 favorites]


Americans like me may not know who Ched Evans is. but they may also tend to accept bald assertions of fact in comments such as this one without looking it up. so I will spare my own commentary for once and offer some context.

If anyone didn't read the article, in summary, money, fame, and slut-shaming are as effective as they ever were at ensuring the justice system treats powerful men with kid gloves.
posted by schroedinger at 12:19 AM on November 10 [26 favorites]


I've never been physically or sexually assaulted by any of the men I've dated, and while that's partly due to luck, it's also true that in many cases I was pretty damn quick to shut things down once I saw red flags.

Women who don't pick up on red flags as readily or shut things down immediately have their own, complicated reasons for being in that position. Getting mixed up with predators and abusers long term isn't due to a failure to respond to red flags. Being groomed from infancy by abusive parents, seeing one's mother abused, being mentally, emotionally, verbally and sexually abused your whole life, seeing women casually being treated as second class citizens your whole life and otherwise being saturated in a culture that teaches women to not trust their own instincts - is what makes seeing all the red flags and getting (or staying) involved with a predator practically inevitable for some women.
posted by marimeko at 12:19 AM on November 10 [62 favorites]


Also, saying "I knew it!" after allegations become public isn't actually that impressive. If you want to amaze us with your pervdar, tell us who's going to be accused in five years.
Every time we have a thread on these creeps there's a comment about how people who'd heard rumors or who felt skeeved out by the accused aren't impressive. I dunno about anyone else, but I find this sort of thing pretty dismissive. The point is that if some rando like me in the boonies has heard about LouisCK, then there are agents, business partners, managers, publicists, investors, and peers who fucking. know. and should have done something about it. If you can't call the police you can at least talk to him and insist on some counseling or tell him exactly why you'll never vote for his work, work with him, invest in him, or write for him ever again.
posted by xyzzy at 12:43 AM on November 10 [20 favorites]


The point is that if some rando like me in the boonies has heard about LouisCK, then there are agents, business partners, managers, publicists, investors, and peers who fucking. know. and should have done something about it. If you can't call the police you can at least talk to him and insist on some counseling or tell him exactly why you'll never vote for his work, work with him, invest in him, or write for him ever again.

And if those people were afraid of confronting him over that, then you need to ask yourself "How fucked up is the power structure that this one individual can ruin people?"
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:49 AM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Americans like me may not know who Ched Evans is. but they may also tend to accept bald assertions of fact in comments such as this one without looking it up. so I will spare my own commentary for once and offer some context.

If anyone didn't read the article, in summary, money, fame, and slut-shaming are as effective as they ever were at ensuring the justice system treats powerful men with kid gloves.


Thanks for pushing back on this. As soon as I read the original comment mentioning Ched Evans, my hackles were raised in a "oh no you didn't just say that!" way. I followed the trial because he plays for my club's rivals and mixed with the schadenfreude was a sense of disgust at people going out of their way to excuse him for a variety of reasons. I've gotten in to long arguments with friends about the fact that just because he was found legally not guilty, something happened with that woman that want consensual. The fact that his friends, family, and fans smeared the woman afterwards and he basically condoned it by doing nothing reflects what scum he is. So yeah, just because he's not in prison doesn't mean nothing happened.
posted by kendrak at 12:55 AM on November 10 [17 favorites]


Let's please also drive out the enablers, i.e. the people who actively protected the Weinsteins of the world; the people who smeared the women who came forward; the people who ruined women's careers not only to punish the individuals who spoke out, but also to terrify other victims into silence.

The studio executives, directors, agents, bookers, and anyone else who helped silence or intimidate victims of abuse need to be added to this dung heap also.

When they protect abusers and silence victims, they not only become complicit in the sexual abuse at hand, but also they share blame for any abuse of future victims that follows.


(And I hope the purge of abusers and their enablers will include far more politicians, candidates, donors, and assorted influencers, too)
posted by Davenhill at 1:00 AM on November 10 [18 favorites]


We can't always tell who the abusers are. Nobody can consistently identify abusers. With any given abuser, not everyone can identify them. However, some abusers are identified as such by some women. We've just got a culture of refusing to listen to them because "hey, you get a skeevy feeling off this guy is proof of nothing, so means nothing". We all need to get better at listening to each other, and taking someone - anyone - having a bad feeling about someone seriously even if we don't feel it ourselves.
posted by Dysk at 1:01 AM on November 10 [17 favorites]


I know it's reassuring on a deep, basic level to think you can always pick out the predators but it really isn't true.

I don't think I've ever thought I knew such a thing from watching someone. I have sometimes been very uncomfortable with a performer--Louis CK is one--that other people like and respect. Kind of like how I don't watch Stephen Colbert anymore because I'm not comfortable with his go-to "ha ha maybe that guy's gay" insult style. I think I have less tolerance for some kinds of humor than other people do, and I some behaviors that other people consider OK are boundary-crossers for me. I hope I would never say or imply, "I knew all along this guy was a predator,: but "this guy always made me uncomfortable" is simply true. I hope I would never suggest to anyone that "they should have known," because for predators to keep operating, they absolutely have to not be known. I keep bringing up the Dr. Larry Nassar case in gymnastics here, but people loved him: parents, coaches, athletes, fans. Even some of the gymnasts he abused felt that he was an ally and friend to them in very difficult and isolating circumstances. This is, of course, a part of his method, but if people didn't like him, if he was going around creeping everybody out all the time, he'd never have been able to spend 20+ years routinely abusing women and girls.
posted by Orlop at 1:02 AM on November 10 [8 favorites]


And yeah, with some abusers, nobody can identify them.

Except that isn't true. Their victims can.
posted by Dysk at 1:02 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


One of the big differences between Gamergate and this current flood of figures being named in the entertainment industry is that the entertainment industry stations itself as a generally progressive environment. This doesn't mean the abuse wasn't rampant in the industry, but that once it started to come to light due to a few brave women and men telling their stories it helped create a snowball effect where others would back them up and add their voices to the claims since their beliefs were already more in tune with progressive values. The industry itself, once a certain tipping point was reached, had to act to at least maintain a face of concern for ethical behavior given their public position and because there are so many in the industry who actually do care about such things as long as they feel safe in acting on them.

This isn't just happening in Hollywood. It's happening in the world of opera, symphony orchestras, writing and magazines, and music, movie and tv industries around the world to varying effect. Ever since Trump's election there has been a steady stream of articles and revelations about sexism, racism, and abuse in the entertainment fields with new scrutiny being paid to all areas of those endeavors. You could see the pressure building up if you were reading arts journals and blogs on the industries. Having women with, comparatively, more power in some of these fields certainly helped speed the process, but as importantly having more of a base in liberal values from those who engage with art culture played a big factor as well, Which is different than some other industries like gaming and the tech industry which is still heavily dominated by young men.

The difficulty for the arts in reaching this point was in how integrated certain patterns of abuse were to the artistic process. The history of "the casting couch" is real and had long been defining in how roles were won. Put up with abuse or don't expect entry. Adding to that is the value of the art itself, where those who create it can seem to ennoble abuse by writing well about it. I haven't seen much of anything from Louis CK, but I gather this is true of him as it is so many other talented artists like Hitchcock, Polanski, Whedon, Allen, Picasso, Degas and on and on. What makes these men important artists can't easily be separated from their abuses because their approach to the art is informed by their conflicting values on their behavior and how they see the world. In their best works this conflict is laid bare, opening itself to inspection and criticism of their own way of being because, in part, their beliefs and actions are at odds.

The honesty and clarity of perspective in the art gives it value, showing the problems and attractions of bad actions from multiple points of view. They are able to do this because these problems are of singularly strong interest to them for being abhorrent to their own higher ideals, but which they are unable to escape in action. The awareness of the problems of the behaviors is as much a part of the works as the understanding of the allure in them. This, of course, does not remotely excuse their actions, but it can make it all seem part of a piece, the troubled artist is brilliant for being troubled, so they are indulged or their abuses aren't as questioned due to the resulting work that comes from that abuse. That matched with fame and power can lead to denial and understandable hesitation on the part of those abused who are led to see the fictions as more meaningful than their own facts. Separating these two things, the creations of artist and the actions of the person, and placing the actions before the creations is a necessary step in fixing the problem.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:03 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Thanks to everyone pushing back on the Ched Evans thing. Even if you argue his predatory behaviour wasn't rape, it was still skeevy as fuck predatory behaviour that he thought he'd get away with as a footballer.

Also, can't stress this enough, his victim didn't lie. What a horrible assertion.
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:03 AM on November 10 [40 favorites]


As a corollary to placing the actions ahead of the art is in broadening the field of the arts to having more diverse voices. Giving women and minorities the same opportunities to provide their experiences and thoughts is every bit as necessary as not accepting abuse from men in power as a condition for entry into the field.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:13 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Every time we have a thread on these creeps there's a comment about how people who'd heard rumors or who felt skeeved out by the accused aren't impressive.

I wasn't referring to people who've heard rumours; I meant people who claim they could "just tell" (and that, by implication, everyone else should have been able to "just tell" also). Not only is this attitude driven by confirmation bias, it's also very damaging to victims. "I've never been sexually assaulted because I'm good at identifying predators" is no different from "I've never been sexually assaulted because I don't wear short skirts." It's just dressed up in more "empowering" language.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 1:19 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Marc Maron, who I think I remember downplaying the accusations against CK at some point (and even if he didn't, the relationship between those 2 and the multiple CK appearances on Maron's honesty-above-all show really create a hella problematic situation that Maron needs to address).

I'm going to be 0% surprised if/when allegations start coming out about Maron behaving badly towards women. I'm not sure whether I think he's more likely to ignore this situation or to overplay his reaction to seem like a good guy, but I have no faith that he'd actually mean it. The creeper vibes roll off him like B.O., especially at his live shows (and even more especially when he starts picking on women in the audience).
posted by katemonster at 1:20 AM on November 10 [18 favorites]


"I've never been sexually assaulted because I'm good at identifying predators"

Literally nobody in the thread has said this though? Like, I am one of the people with a comment about how CK always gave me creep vibes, but I have been sexually abused/assaulted. I - and as far as I can tell, nobody else in the thread - never claimed to be able to identify abusers as a rule, consistently, or in general. Just this one. No doubt other people got creeper vibes off people I didn't, who turned out to be creeps.
posted by Dysk at 1:29 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Literally nobody in the thread has said this though?

Search the page for "I've never been."
posted by Perodicticus potto at 1:38 AM on November 10


Okay, literally one person said something like it, with the qualifier that it was at least partly down to luck.
posted by Dysk at 1:44 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Gee I wonder why George Clooney is retiring.

He was injured on the set of Syriania and has said that he will continue to direct.

This does not excuse his silence wrt what he may have witnessed nor excuse behavior if anyone comes forward and says he did things.
posted by brujita at 2:56 AM on November 10


Is it really a good idea to speculate about who will be next ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:57 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Terry Crews is OK, right? There's no other shoe dropping with Terry Crews?

I don't think so? Terry Crews recently came forward as a sexual assault victim (as noted in the Kevin Spacey thread).
posted by elsietheeel at 3:31 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Wild speculation, no. Informed speculation - I'm all about it! Take Bryan Singer. Dude is a sexual predator who's been sending his lawyers to aggressively suppress victims' stories for a long time. He's next, I surely hope. If there's one good thing to come of all this pain, it's that there will be an epic culling of these awful fucking rapists and assaulters, and I hope they're feeling true and deep fear about what's to come.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 4:01 AM on November 10 [14 favorites]


I have a weird feeling Nickelodeon’s own Dan Schneider will be next.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:25 AM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Never got Louis C. K. to be honest. I just chalked it up to me being too old, but now I wonder.
posted by tommasz at 4:28 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


There is something especially, characteristically misogynistic about geek subculture.

Mainly that geeks buy into the cultural trope that if you go through a thing and win the day, you are awarded a hot woman of your choice as a prize (a theme constantly reinforced in video games and other geek media), but that it doesn’t work that way for them in real life, and they’re really angry that it doesn’t. This anger must be taken out on women everywhere, especially hot ones, for not falling in line.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:34 AM on November 10 [38 favorites]


This anger must be taken out on women everywhere, especially hot ones, for not falling in line.

Except what actually happens is the exact opposite. It gets taken out on the NOT-so-hot ones, because Angry Geek's ego cannot fathom why less-hot women are still not falling over themselves to sleep with him. He knows he can't get the supermodel, despite being conditioned to think she's his deserved prize. But it's the fact that a regular girl can't even bring herself to settle for him that's enraging. And those girls are the ones he sees every day, so they are the ones who end up suffering for it.

Trust me, Angry Geek will never risk alienating a hot woman. You never know!! She may just "come to her senses" one day and he needs to be ready! But Jane at work? Fuck that bitch. She's probably a lesbian anyway.

(ask me how I know.)
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:48 AM on November 10 [61 favorites]


Terry Crews is OK, right?

He’s recently exposed a producer who groped him at a party. If your question is is there any reason to think Crews might have someone charge him with assault in the future, well, who knows? But I saw an interview with him where he was thrilled people were going public, describing Hollywood as having been pre-Weinstein and post-Weinstein, and now assault will no longer be tolerated.
posted by maxsparber at 4:53 AM on November 10 [14 favorites]


Libraries and archives are not immune to sexual harassment as a behavior (in case anybody wondered). /tangent
posted by datawrangler at 5:03 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


No profession is immune. Sexual harassment and predatory behavior is endemic in American culture.
posted by teleri025 at 5:14 AM on November 10 [8 favorites]


I viscerally dislike the argument construction which goes "I didn't believe the first person who came forward, but when a second did... Well we all know abusers don't just attack one person, amirite?"

Yeah, no. Lots of rapists probably have single victims. Lots of abusers probably do too. Because whether they are able to do so is a matter of proximity and opportunity. Most people are sexually assaulted by people they know. Often, the person is a family member. And the power dynamic that defines such acts is rarely completely impulsive.

We need to start believing people who say they have been sexually assaulted or abused. This means giving them the benefit of the doubt. It means not using outliers to bend over backwards in an attempt to exonerate people for heinous crimes. We are not a court of law and there is no onus upon us to not only automatically believe that someone is innocent of an accusation but a liar until more people speak up.

Speaking up is hell. It's wrapped up in a hundred emotions. Self-doubt. Self-blame. Guilt. Shame. Anger. Despair. Fury. Fear. Sadness. One's sense of self worth. And others. For those who have been attacked by powerful people, there are other factors to worry about: their livelihoods and reputations. Their careers. If they stay quiet, they won't be hurt. So they keep it inside and suffer with all of those inwardly-directed emotions in silence.

So it takes years for the crimes committed against them to come to light. The time elapsed is then used against them by the court of public opinion, cops, juries, judges and their attackers, who all shrug and tell them they can't possibly remember accurately. It was so long ago. And anyway, now it's too late for justice to be done.

Don't make it harder for people to say what has been done to them.

Don't make it harder for us to come forward.

Don't be part of the problem.

You have a choice here: believe those who have been hurt or make things worse.
posted by zarq at 5:14 AM on November 10 [58 favorites]


God dammit, Louis.

How could anybody as smart and self-aware as you do something so monumentally fucking damaging?

You don't treat people like that. You just don't.

Fuck.

You don't get to weasel out of this with the shrug and the cute eyebrow lift and the old "can't I just be stupid" shtick.

There is no excuse for behaving like that. None. And you know that now and you knew that then and you did it anyway.

Fuck.

I've loved your stuff for years. Wish I still could. Can't.

Fuck.
posted by flabdablet at 5:16 AM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Except what actually happens is the exact opposite. It gets taken out on the NOT-so-hot ones

I said it gets taken out on women everywhere, and I don’t need to ask how you know, because it’s probably the same way I know.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:18 AM on November 10 [18 favorites]


^ Truth.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:28 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I viscerally dislike the argument construction which goes "I didn't believe the first person who came forward, but when a second did... Well we all know abusers don't just attack one person, amirite?"

It's kind of a self-confirming hypothesis - if we only believe accusers when there's more than one, then you only judge as guilty people who've got more than one victim. I think that circular logic is part of why people are so confident in that belief.
posted by Dysk at 5:28 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


God dammit, Louis.

How could anybody as smart and self-aware as you do something so monumentally fucking damaging?


Oh it's super easy for smart, self aware people to justify their own shitty behavior to themselves. Because they're so smart and self aware, see, so any excuse that passes muster with them must justify it. (Also, everyone is smart and self aware in their own mind, this is how it works for everybody, smart people are as dumb as the rest of us on this.) Those excuses Louis was giving to his victims years later are surely what he'd been telling himself.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:36 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Lots of rapists probably have single victims. Lots of abusers probably do too.

It's occurred to me that, unless I've missed something (which is quite possible), Woody Allen has only ever been accused of molesting one child. But, having read the court documents, I find that accusation very credible. I've read that there's a certain percentage of child molesters who aren't actually paedophiles, and I wonder if he falls into that category.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 5:36 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


No profession is immune. Sexual harassment and predatory behavior is endemic in American culture.

Nah. We’re not exceptional here, either.

It’s men.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:40 AM on November 10 [30 favorites]


Wild speculation, no. Informed speculation - I'm all about it!

Going off of what has come out already, if one wanted informed specualtion, going back to old Gawker and Jezebel stories might be the best place to start as so many of them are turning out to be true.
posted by drezdn at 5:42 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]


And Gawker got many of them from gossip sites and blind items.

Whisper networks, in other words.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:58 AM on November 10 [16 favorites]


Fuck! Tig Notaro put this whole thing in a story arc on her show One Mississippi but I had no idea it was about Louis CK until yesterday.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:00 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Fuck! Tig Notaro put this whole thing in a story arc on her show One Mississippi

Related: anyone who, for some fucking reason, doesn’t think this is sexual assault should watch this. If you still don’t think it’s assault...then, to crib a line from above, I dunno, be a better person.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:12 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


the cultural trope that if you go through a thing and win the day, you are awarded a hot woman of your choice as a prize

The Louis show has an episode about this, where Louis thinks that his modest fame entitles him to date a much younger and culturally distant cute supermarket checkout girl.

Erotomania is a type of delusional disorder where the affected person believes that another person is in love with him or her. This belief is usually applied to someone with higher status or a famous person, but can also be applied to a complete stranger.

When I've seen this around me, there has usually been cocaine involved.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:36 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Do people realise that "Any smart woman can spot an abuser just by watching him onscreen" is simply another form of victim-blaming?

I hope what I said upthread about his Palin comments making this unsurprising didn't sound like "his victims should have known that he was an abuser"; I meant it more like "fans who knew about those comments should have known that he wasn't a feminist good guy."
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:42 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


How could anybody as smart and self-aware as you do something so monumentally fucking damaging?

Self-awareness doesn't mean anything. It's this sort of mock-enlightenment that people adopt to pretend that being aware of the situation is enough. Self-awareness doesn't say 'this is wrong' and it doesn't say 'I am going to try to change because it's hurting you', it just says 'I can see that I do this thing'. That's not really useful to anyone. I mean, it's a step up from gaslighting but not by much.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 6:45 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


chortly: "Since these these things have been in the air for quite a while now, has anyone seen any thoughtful pieces about how to think about Better Things? [...] in a way that balances my feelings about (against) Louis CK with my feelings for all the other strong women behind the show and its explicitly feminist content."

I'm right here with you. My wife and I adore Better Things and think it's one of the best shows on television at the moment.

I'm not the kind of person who goes reading entertainment magazines or celebrity gossip blogs and I still had managed to hear rumors about Louis CK over the past few years, enough that every time I see his name on the credits I have cringed, wondering if he'll end up knocking this show over during his inevitable fall from the pedestal. I surely hope not.

But then I have the same question as someone upthread: if I've heard his actions without even seeking them out then that means there are countless people that work directly with him that have definitely [heard about / experienced] them, and I can't see how Pamela Adlon is not in that group.

I've spent plenty of minutes watching Louis CK on the TV and laughing at his jokes even as he always felt like a sour and deeply unhappy man. At this point I'm happy to file him away right next to Cosby in the "I hate that some of your jokes are still in my head because they really were funny but it turns out you're a real piece of shit so ..." bin. I'm happy to do that and it doesn't hurt me.

but I really really do not want to give up Better Things and I hope that Adlon can come out with some sort of truthful explanation of her relationship with Louis, what she did or didn't know, and ...

I don't know, it's probably selfish of me but I just don't want that creep ruining my tangential good thing.
posted by komara at 7:04 AM on November 10 [8 favorites]


One of his jokes that I've liked is how it's brave for both men and women when a man successfully get to go on a date with a woman. It takes courage for the man to go up and ask a woman out, because fear of rejection is a big thing; it's courageous for the woman to go out with the man because there's a chance she might die, because statistically the most common cause of death for women is men. I guess the irony is obvious, but he was probably extrapolating from his own experiences.
posted by numaner at 7:16 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the perps masturbating in front of women...how does that differ from wanking in private? what is the "satisfaction," the purpose?
posted by Postroad at 7:28 AM on November 10


I would imagine he (and people like him) get off on making the women feel uncomfortable and/or threatened.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:33 AM on November 10 [12 favorites]


I don't understand the perps masturbating in front of women...how does that differ from wanking in private? what is the "satisfaction," the purpose?

It's about power, about forcing the victim to become a tool for the perpetrator's pleasure.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:35 AM on November 10 [26 favorites]


And also, they get off on engaging in sexual acts without consent or with coerced consent. Power.
posted by Mavri at 7:36 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Joe in Australia> Maybe he was miserable because he knew he was a horrible person.

If I were to map my experiences with illness and depression to other people, I would instead believe that it works the other way around. People can become horrible because they are miserable. When you are suffering yourself, the suffering of others becomes less distinct. A wounded dog lashes out at others.

This comment is not to be interpreted as a justification for giving in to such base impulses. I just find it harder to believe that people that are a priori horrible would be miserable about it. Psychopaths don't suffer from their insanity, they enjoy it very much.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:45 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Louis C.K. Film, ‘I Love You, Daddy,’ Shelved After Sexual Misconduct Accusations. The distributor is not releasing it on November 17 as scheduled.
posted by zarq at 7:49 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


Daily Beast: "Louis C.K.’s Powerful Army of Celebrity Enablers. For years, Louis C.K.’s fellow male comedians refused to comment on the sexual misconduct allegations against their friend (and sometime mentor)."
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


I get the sense that some people think that what Louis CK did isn't so bad on the spectrum of what qualifies as sexual assault, and maybe those people are wondering what we're so upset and disgusted about. So if you are one of those people who thinks that, just imagine you're there, in the moment, with these women. Imagine you ARE a woman. And your colleague or boss, someone you have up until this point really liked and respected, calls you into his office and then, once you're in there and the door is closed, asks if he can masturbate in front of you.

So immediately you're like, "Um, no." Or maybe you're in such disbelief at this request that you don't even know what to do or say. Regardless, he starts doing it anyway, which is shocking, and you don't know whether you're supposed to yell at him to stop, laugh, cry, run out of the room, or whatever.

The other thought I can imagine running through one's mind in that situation is - if this guy is capable of doing that, completely lacking in control of his inappropriate sexual impulses, what else is he going to do? Does it end there or is he going to come after me in another way later? And then of course the sad fact that telling someone else about this encounter may ultimately harm the victim more than it harms the person who did it.

I liked Louis CK for a while. I really enjoyed the first season or so of Louie, before it seemed to become more preachy and dramatic than funny. I can't remember if I stopped liking him as much around the time these rumors started to emerge a while back, or if I'd already found his funniness fading before that. I think it was the latter.
posted by wondermouse at 8:02 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


This may be a dumb question, but among all these allegations coming out (which I believe -- using "allegations" sounds like I don't, although they are allegations), they're all Americans so far (from what I've seen, at least). Obviously there are men from other parts of the world, say, the UK, who work on Hollywood projects, so why aren't we hearing about any of them? Does our rape culture, etc., just make this more "acceptable" to the men who feel like they can do these things, or am I missing something?
posted by trillian at 8:08 AM on November 10


I don't know if I would say I can always spot an abuser or not. Hell, I knew one guy who I thought was perfectly fine until one day he pitched his girlfriend across my living room. But some folks may come off as kind of asshole, and if a guy tends to have certain traits like ignoring you when you say no or running you over when you speak or kind of being a human bulldozer or treating one gender like crap, those are red flag behavior things to me. Some people may hide it better than others, some people you may not see the abuse because you're not their preferred target. Some guy may seem perfectly great but that's because you're also a man and he wasn't super inclined to flash his penis at you.

This article on Louis CK's masturbation jokes is really disgusting anyway, but especially now. He certainly told everyone what he was and people just....didn't, something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:23 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I've been the recipient of a stranger masturbating at me in a public place - like, very specifically to disturb/upset me, he was trying hard to get my attention when I averted my eyes, and grinned from ear to ear when I looked at him, and then followed me out of the store when I got up and booked my ass out of there. It went on longer than I "should" have let it, because I was young and uncomfortable and scared and I didn't know what would happen if I got up and left - would he follow me? Would the store believe me if I reported him? "Sit here and stare really hard at this book and don't make eye contact and maybe he'll finish jerking off and go away" seemed like the best option for a few minutes there until it became clear that it really was not going to happen that way.

I'm entirely sure he could tell how scared and uncomfortable and awful I felt, and I have to assume that was a big part of whatever thrill he was getting out of it. I guarantee you it wasn't about my irresistible sexual charms. It was about nine a.m. and I was fresh off three hours standing out in the cold as a clinic escort, so I was exhausted, cranky, and dressed to stay warm and do battle. It was absolutely a power/control/humiliation thing.
posted by Stacey at 8:23 AM on November 10 [29 favorites]


Obviously there are men from other parts of the world, say, the UK, who work on Hollywood projects, so why aren't we hearing about any of them?

Don't know. Ed Westwick is the most prominent non-American I can think of who has been accused of sexual assault recently.
posted by zarq at 8:25 AM on November 10


Obviously there are men from other parts of the world, say, the UK, who work on Hollywood projects, so why aren't we hearing about any of them? Does our rape culture, etc., just make this more "acceptable" to the men who feel like they can do these things, or am I missing something?

There's currently a massive sexual abuse scandal unfolding in the UK regarding a culture of abuse in Parliament.
posted by Automocar at 8:26 AM on November 10 [15 favorites]


trillian - look up "Jimmy Savile."
posted by 41swans at 8:30 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


The aspect of Louis’s comedy that i have always liked best is the way he describes compulsion. Reconciling wanting to be a good person with the fact that you repeatedly do things that you know are bad, things that you sincerely don’t want to be doing.

Psych research indicates that the tendency to do good things is separate from not doing evil things; they can exist in any combination. One can make more sense of the world by thinking that being a "good person" and being a "bad person" are not mutually exclusive.

For example (not that anyone has to care at this point) it is very much a possibility that Louis really genuinely wanted to help people with his charity rather than as a PR move. Unfortunately for people deciding who and how much to trust, when someone does something good, that doesn't imply that they will not at some point do evil.
posted by Jpfed at 8:34 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


A number of well known woman comedians have spoken publicly about these incendents without naming anyone. I fully expect we will be hearing from them again.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:35 AM on November 10


One of his jokes that I've liked is how it's brave for both men and women when a man successfully get to go on a date with a woman. It takes courage for the man to go up and ask a woman out, because fear of rejection is a big thing; it's courageous for the woman to go out with the man because there's a chance she might die, because statistically the most common cause of death for women is men. I guess the irony is obvious, but he was probably extrapolating from his own experiences.

Margaret Atwood has a quote about this.
posted by 41swans at 8:37 AM on November 10 [17 favorites]


One can make more sense of the world by thinking that being a "good person" and being a "bad person" are not mutually exclusive.

They are mutually exclusive. Not being a bad person is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being a good person.
posted by Dysk at 8:38 AM on November 10


Margaret Atwood has a quote about this.

yeah, it pains me that anybody would think he was making an original joke vs. weakly repackaging the most famous line attributed to a famous woman. plus of course it's not a joke.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:42 AM on November 10 [47 favorites]


It was absolutely a power/control/humiliation thing.

It's the grinning that has stuck with me. 25+ years and that type of grin is seared into my brain. It was me and a friend in a transit station and guy just walks up. We were teenagers and it took a few seconds to even realize wtf was going on. I think our reaction was ew, wtf, ignore him. I don't remember being scared. Just really, really unsettled and discombobulated. He grinned the entire time. He was having a fabulous time.

That grin though. As years have gone by I've seen that grin and variations of it over and over. Sometimes it's just a glimpse, sometimes I think I see it and question whether I'm seeing things because 'he's such a nice guy' yadda yadda. That grin is everywhere. At least now I understand more what is really behind it and why teenage me reacted the way I did.
posted by Jalliah at 8:43 AM on November 10 [27 favorites]


Yep, I've seen the grin all three times I've been publicly masturbated at: at a highway rest stop, on the El, and at my apartment complex swimming pool.
posted by misskaz at 8:47 AM on November 10 [9 favorites]


trillian - look up "Jimmy Savile."

I am aware of his horrible crimes, but I'm talking about the string of Hollywood men in the news in the last few weeks -- all Americans, as far as I know. I know there must be plenty of non-Americans working in movie and TV projects in the U.S., so are they just not being accused publicly or are they just not doing it here as much?
posted by trillian at 8:48 AM on November 10


yeah, it pains me that anybody would think he was making an original joke vs. weakly repackaging the most famous line attributed to a famous woman. plus of course it's not a joke.

Thank you! Ugh when that bit came out people definitely thought I would love it because I'm a) feminist b) really into stand up. Oh boy were some dudes disappointed when I was like, this is unoriginal and not funny. It's been said better by smarter people.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:50 AM on November 10 [12 favorites]


All I know is that I'm glad to have been wrong about the way this stuff was going to have to blow up (link to my comment in previous thread). I'm glad that we're on a track of believing women, believing victims, and (in the case of Louis C.K.) believing abusive shitheads when they make "locker room" jokes about being abusive shitheads.

I'm relieved to not have to hold my tongue anymore when friends tell me about one of Louis's stand-up bits or TV episodes, because these allegations were absolutely out there and findable on the internet years ago, but hadn't broken through to an extent that they couldn't be dismissed out of hand.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:50 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Ugh, now I'm remembering the time I was on a nearly-empty N train and realized a guy sitting in the middle of the car was masturbating with an extremely uncomfortable looking woman sitting catty-corner from him. I don't know if he didn't see me (a man) sitting towards the end of the car or what.
posted by Automocar at 8:51 AM on November 10


In his own words, "it's something we need to do so we don't murder people."

a whole lot of men would be happy to "why not both?" it, of course. but that just makes his point for him, that we should have been grateful. every time a man jerks off on you, he's not stabbing you, so be nice and say thanks.

the alternating abject self-loathing and extreme self-aggrandizement over masturbation goes hand and hand with extreme hatred of women for every straight man I've ever heard express it. the whole thing in his one stand-up routine about 'I'm going to jerk off thinking about you and there's nothing you can do about it' -- how deflating it is to men like that when they realize women don't care, because what you do in your own mind in your own home doesn't matter to us, we don't give a shit -- we can't, because we don't know, any more than they know what we think about.

so from deflation to fury -- women take away your self-importance, you have to take it back. how dare we not know or care about his tortured self-pleasure! so he told everybody. but some people still didn't care! so he had to make them care somehow, and assault is the method closest to foolproof. hard to ignore, right ladies

anyway, this is what passes for a super smart and self-aware man these days! how about that.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:53 AM on November 10 [30 favorites]


I remember when I was at a stoplight at Memorial and Moreland in Atlanta and I looked over to see a guy in the car next to me grinning at me and jacking it. I was scared that he would follow me, and he did for a couple of lights before I lost him in traffic. You don't forget shit like that.
posted by Kitteh at 8:54 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I'm glad these fuckers are getting named and having at least some sort of consequences happening. In therapy I've hit the RAGE stage where I just want to scream but if I did it feels like the world will burn with my anger and most of that (actually all of that) right now is directed at the people who did nothing, blamed me, turned their head (hi mom!) when I was being abused as a child. And at society who would rather blame me and call me mentally ill and hysterical and a liar because a group of men preyed on me. And that's not including all the other ones who raped me as I got older. In talking with my therapist I told her that all this.. the #metoo and women and men coming out is actually helping me because it feels like a shower of validation pouring down on me that finally finally I'm not alone. That other people understand. (unfortunately too many women understand).
(And yeah my abusers who were raping children and other such horrors were fine upstanding citizens that no one would have suspected)

So I just wanted to thank the women and men here who come out and push back at things and say fuck this guy and that guy because the thing that is so hard about having had that happen to me is the way society forces you to think you are all alone in this, or that you should have known (!), or not be so upset about it, or provide 100% proof. All that has lead me to feel really alone. and unheard. And that's the worst thing I think for survivors to feel..absolutely isolated and like they don't matter.
posted by kanata at 8:55 AM on November 10 [27 favorites]


They are mutually exclusive. Not being a bad person is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being a good person.

Karl Jung
would beg to differ here ...
posted by philip-random at 8:58 AM on November 10


Ugh, now I'm remembering the time I was on a nearly-empty N train and realized a guy sitting in the middle of the car was masturbating with an extremely uncomfortable looking woman sitting catty-corner from him. I don't know if he didn't see me (a man) sitting towards the end of the car or what.

I don't care what you did at the time, but knowing what you know now, if you were in that exact same situation tonight, what would you do?
posted by elsietheeel at 9:04 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


> I have a weird feeling Nickelodeon’s own Dan Schneider will be next.

> I don't care what you did at the time, but knowing what you know now, if you were in that exact same situation tonight, what would you do?

I don't think speculating about who might be next is helpful (isn't it enough to deal with the ones we know about?), and I don't think putting fellow MeFites on the hot seat and asking them to prove themselves is helpful.
posted by languagehat at 9:17 AM on November 10 [21 favorites]


I don't care what you did at the time, but knowing what you know now, if you were in that exact same situation tonight, what would you do?

I'd probably do exactly the same thing I did then--say "what are you doing?" really loudly.
posted by Automocar at 9:19 AM on November 10 [26 favorites]


Karl Jung would beg to differ here ...

Right, but I don't give a shit about overblown Jungian bollocks. If you sexually assault or abuse people, you are a shitty person, end of story. Doesn't matter how much money you give to charity, how much time you spend working with kids, all of that - for me or any right thinking person to not think you a human garbage fire, a bad person, not being a shitty person is a precondition.

Or, in other words, not being a bad person is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being a good person. Not for having good instincts or impulses, but for being a good person. Being a bad person - such as being an abuser - is sufficient to render you not a good person, regardless.

That a famous male authority figure might disagree? Well colour me surprised. I'm sure CK thinks he's a good person despite being a bad person too. It's an enabling lie.
posted by Dysk at 9:25 AM on November 10 [27 favorites]


I think what jpfed really should be saying is that good acts do not preclude you from committing bad acts. The tension that jpfed is feeling is with the idea that a good person only commits good acts, and a bad person only commits bad acts. In other words, Manichean Evil.

One may be a bad person and still commit good acts; the good acts do not wipe away the stain of the bad.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:40 AM on November 10 [15 favorites]


In addition to allegations against Westwick in the UK, the BBC has also recently seen a spike in complaints. Given they received about 40 per year in the past two years, according to the article, then a spike suggests the problem really isn't a small one.

Israel's Keshet Broadcasting founder and a producer were recently accused of harrassment.

And there were also some recent comments from actresses at the Asian World Film Awards about rampant abuses, but the culture in the industries prevents them from feeling safe making public accusations. Can't find the article to link unfortunately.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:44 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


If one only sees the good acts, then one might be tempted to believe someone is a good person. It is impossible to determine whether someone is a good person without seeing all of their acts, which is impossible.

Therefore, the determination of people as good people is inconsistent with observable reality, and should be abandoned.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:46 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Therefore, the determination of people as good people is inconsistent with observable reality, and should be abandoned.

This is not a philosophy class. The post is about someone who did actual harm to at least 5 women. He's a horrible human being. One doesn't need Jungian analysis, telepathy, an electron microscope or a radio telescope to figure that out.

Terrible people can't be spotted on sight. Rapists and child molesters included. We don't need to harp on whether they can.

Perhaps it would also be worth keeping in mind that to at least some of us in this thread, people exposing themselves to others and/or sexually assaulting others is not abstract concept.
posted by zarq at 9:56 AM on November 10 [41 favorites]


I was a pretty big Louis CK fan. Loved his standup and his first show Lucky Louie - one of the best depictions of growing up right on the border of lower-middle-class, but really dude we are POOR.

I lost the stomach for his comedy after that season of Louis, Louis where he tried to rape Pamela Adlon's character and then the fell in wuv. Not just the facts of the scene, but the really bad justifications for it. Then when rumors of his behavior started to openly circulate in 2015, that was it for me.

The fact that someone like me, completely unconnected to the comedy scene except as a viewer, cut off C.K. TWO YEARS AGO and yet he was still able to hustle up a movie is the textbook definition of rape culture. Exposing these serial predators is a great first step. The next step is to figure out how we make a culture where they won't thrive.
posted by muddgirl at 9:57 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


> This is not a philosophy class.
> assaulting others is not abstract concept.

I don't understand what I said to offend you, and I thought I was agreeing with you.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 10:12 AM on November 10


I don't understand why everyone is upset their "hero" is outed as a pervert. You do realize Miley Cyrus and various other celebrities are accused of sexual misconduct? I don't care about someone who makes entertainment I enjoy. If they're a scumbag, I'll find someone else's creative works to consume. I suspect a lot of people are going to be outed now.
posted by GiveUpNed at 10:17 AM on November 10


> You do realize Miley Cyrus and various other celebrities are accused of sexual misconduct

Miley Cyrus doesn't have a history of sexual assault, as far as I know (I don't follow her career closely).

> I don't care about someone who makes entertainment I enjoy. If they're a scumbag, I'll find someone else's creative works to consume.

Well, this is one way of people finding out that the people who create the works are scumbags, and finding other artists to support.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:24 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I don't understand why everyone is upset their "hero" is outed as a pervert.

If you don't find anyone admirable, then, yeah, I imagine it would be difficult to understand the people who do. Perhaps AskMe would be a good place for people to explain it to you, so as to avoid derailing this conversation.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 10:28 AM on November 10 [16 favorites]


Fall 2017's new hit show: Guess Who Else Is a Sexual Predator?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:30 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Apparently he has put out a statement admitting guilt? Image, can't find text of the statement.
posted by Rumple at 10:31 AM on November 10


Louis C.K. responds: These stories are true.
posted by maxsparber at 10:31 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Text of Louis CK's comment.

this seems about as thorough an attempt to fully apologize and accept responsibility as one could expect at this point (emphasis on "at this point", meaning "far too late and only after being forced into a corner"), which only highlights how useless the apology or anything from his voice is in this context. honestly the only part I cared much for was "I will now step back and take a long time to listen", which implies he's going to slink away into silence for at least a while, to which I just think "good"
posted by Kybard at 10:31 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


It's a well-crafted and apparently sincere apology. Whether he really is sincere or not, who can tell; whether apologies do any good is probably for his victims to say.
posted by Rumple at 10:34 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Wow, that statement is just..... wow.

That thing was very clearly not put through a legal or PR team.

EDIT: Not saying it's really great or anything, just that it's so weird and direct.
posted by lattiboy at 10:35 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Better statements:

Ellen Page.

Anthony Edwards.
posted by rewil at 10:35 AM on November 10 [47 favorites]


I don't know about accusations against Miley Cyrus, but I know it was repulsive when people started counting down to her 18th birthday.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:36 AM on November 10 [14 favorites]


I'm sort of wary of a long altercation between people who argue that, given what he did, this was maybe as well as he could have responded, and the people who note that it doesn't fix a fucking thing. Because both takes are pretty accurate. He opted to just wear it, which didn't make a bad thing worse, but there isn't a thing he can say to undo all of this awfulness he created, either.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:37 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


He opted to just wear it, which didn't make a bad thing worse, but there isn't a thing he can say to undo all of this awfulness he created, either.

yeah, this is true and I think a much better articulation of what I was trying to drive at in the first place.
posted by Kybard at 10:38 AM on November 10


From his statement: The power I had over these women is that they admired me.

No, asshole. The power you had was literal, actual power over the careers and lives. JFC.
posted by rtha at 10:39 AM on November 10 [99 favorites]


"The power I had over these women is that they admired me.
[...]
I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused."

He really doesn't get it, does he?
posted by Dysk at 10:41 AM on November 10 [22 favorites]


“The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

Are you people kidding? He’s not wearing shit. He destroyed these women’s careers, and it sure as shit wasn’t because they fucking admired him.

This is basically “I was so awesome I didn’t realize how awesome I was and that put people in a ‘predicament’”

No, you congenital fucking coward, you preyed on women and then punished them with your very real power to get or deny them jobs in a small, competitive industry

Are you kidding me
posted by schadenfrau at 10:43 AM on November 10 [57 favorites]


No, you fucking congenital coward, you preyed on women and then punished them with your very real power to get or deny them jobs in a small, competitive industry

He seems to acknowledge that though:

"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."

posted by Pendragon at 10:46 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Yeeeeah, it's pretty disgusting how many times he managed to work in the fact that he was admired into that relatively short statement. It's almost as if he wanted to get that in our heads more than the fact that he fucked up royally. Boy, bye.
posted by marshmallow peep at 10:48 AM on November 10 [15 favorites]


“People liked me too much” is absolutely not the same as “people were threatened and blacklisted when they tried to speak out”

Again are you fucking kidding me
posted by schadenfrau at 10:48 AM on November 10 [34 favorites]


Also, "I learned yesterday." He's trying to pretend he's learned and is taking responsibility, but he just learned that what he did was abusive yesterday?
posted by Mavri at 10:49 AM on November 10 [12 favorites]


Ellen Page.

Still more proof that she was a far better Kitty Pryde than the last few X-men movies even deserved. It's mortifying as hell to realize that at least half of the series (which basically revolves around a group of vulnerable teenagers) were directed by known serial predators (four for Singer, one for Ratner).
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:50 AM on November 10 [25 favorites]


The summer that I was 21, I was hanging out with a group of people with whom I had become friendly, partying at a house that some of them shared; I crashed there occasionally. One night, I had totally decent and consensual casual sex with one of the guys in the group. I wasn't motivated to turn it into anything more steady, but I considered him a friend.

I woke up around dawn one Sunday (a week or two later) to him jerking off inches from my face as a slept on the couch. I blearily said "what the hell?" and told him to cut it out, that that was fucking weird. He mumbled "okay," and I rolled over to go back to sleep. He waited a few minutes and started back up again. I grumpily moved to the hammock outside, and shamed him into not following me.

I felt more irritated than threatened, but of course I also felt complicit. Even though I knew damn well that I didn't owe him any more sex. That I had been totally honest about our previous romp in the hay being real casual. That he had affirmed that real casual was great, yeah. But waking up to his dick near my face made me angry for apparently having poor judgement, because this dude did not deserve to get laid if his takeaway was that creepy entitlement and poor impulse control is okay.

Of course he apologized later with the expected bingo-card full of excuses. Hungover/drunk/half-asleep. I looked so pretty/hot. It's not like he was going to come on my face, he was just stroking himself for a minute. He didn't think I'd mind since he wasn't even touching me. I'm not some stranger, I'd had sex with him. What's the difference between him jerking off in the living room versus his bedroom. Needless to say, I distanced myself from him at parties, and I found another friend in the group who was happy to let me crash in his room whenever (and wasn't interested in sexing me up.)

Anyway, my point is that the masturbating-in-front-of someone isn't even always about humiliation or power in a predatory way. Just entitlement is enough of a poison.
posted by desuetude at 11:01 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


OMG, you guys. "The Grin", that rictus of pleasure at causing you discomfort. I can see it, like the Cheshire Cat; that grimacing smirk is omnipresent with men who get off on nonconsensual encounters. And if you've watched LCK, he does that face, The Grin is natural to him. This thread finally illuminated for me why I feel repulsed by him.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:04 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


How powerful was he? Big within stand-up, I'd guess, but everything else he did seemed high profile with critics but otherwise severely niche. I didn't really pay much attention to him until the TV show, which I mostly enjoyed, but found occasionally moralistic or overly earnest and, in the last season, rambling and disturbing in an almost unwatchable way. (The Parker Posey episodes were fantastic and brutal, absolutely the best I'd seen on the show. She was referring to his character being creepy, however.)

I didn't watch his web-only series with Alan Alda, had never heard of it until I came across a podcast about it. I didn't look it up, because I needed a break from his thing, I thought. But I still thought of him as niche, so his move didn't surprise me. I don't expect that "I Love You Daddy" was going to be a box office bonanza, exactly, and garner him a call from Chinese production companies for international rights to future films, and the like. Seems to me like he had a huge presence in stand-up, a world to which I barely pay attention, but was more just a critical darling in other mediums? Everything he had going for him there was the admiration of others, good writing, and exceedingly modest commercial success on pay cable.

I googled the other show, and saw that the online-only "Horace and Pete" was a commercial disaster.
posted by raysmj at 11:05 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


How powerful was he?

Powerful enough to make or break careers. Let's not play the "but really, how powerful was he" game.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:08 AM on November 10 [45 favorites]


While I'm not giving Louis CK any kind of a cookie for that statement, and there wasn't enough apology to the victims for my taste, at least we can say one thing about it. He fucking admitted his victims weren't lying. He didn't say he was drunk and didn't remember. He didn't say "if it happened." He's the first one of all of these assholes to admit he did it, say none of them are lying, and he was wrong. Stopping the victims being dragged through the mud as if they are lying liars is the absolute LEAST these assholes can do. And so far, Louis CK seems to be the only one who is even trying to retain some humanity and stop the media frenzy on his victims. I hope he gets help. I hope he pays for help for all his victims. And I hope he shuts up and goes away now.
posted by greermahoney at 11:08 AM on November 10 [65 favorites]


How powerful was he?

Powerful enough. I know of one dude who managed to pull this shit who was just an actor in community theater, so I'm going to say the guy who was the head writer for the Dana Carvey show probably had more power than that.
posted by maxsparber at 11:08 AM on November 10 [7 favorites]




This is about as good an apology as could be hoped for, but it just rings like 'This has to be very carefully constructed because I don't want it to destroy the remainder of my career like Weinstein/Spacey' because when he was repeatedly asked about this stuff 2 years ago (?) it was all 'I don't give credence to rumours, they're not real'. He had plenty of time and warning to make amends for this. He's smart, I believe he knew what he was doing. I think he's very good at the 'I know I'm an asshole' routine. He knew this was coming for the past week or so, and has had plenty of time to think about his strategy. I'd also like to know how recent his last episode of this was, because he's playing it off like 'I was so stupid when I was younger!' when as far as I know he was pulling this shit 2 years ago in the middle of his forties.
posted by everydayanewday at 11:13 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


I googled the other show, and saw that the online-only "Horace and Pete" was a commercial disaster.

Not entirely true. According to CK, his distribution deal with Hulu (which currently streams Horace & Pete) along with direct online sales let him break even on the whole thing. He funnelled the money he originally spent on H&P (which he then made back again) into funding his current movie, which most likely will be an actual commercial disaster because its release has been totally scrapped.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:14 AM on November 10


Also, he says he didn't realize the harm until yesterday, and yet had his manager do cleanup duty years ago.

Fucking bullshit. I've never had a consensual sexual encounter and then afterward said, man, I'd better have an employee muscle them to shut up about it.
posted by maxsparber at 11:14 AM on November 10 [45 favorites]


I've seen the grin all three times I've been publicly masturbated at: at a highway rest stop, on the El, and at my apartment complex swimming pool.

So yesterday I was talking to my husband about the Louis CK allegations, and he was like “oh yeah it’s bad but this is just so bizarre, I mean what dude would ever masturbate in front of women he wasn’t having sex with?” And then I was like “I literally cannot remember the number of times that men have non consensually masturbated in front of me because it was so many fucking times” and he was just shocked and bewildered.

Dudes who do this know it isn’t okay - otherwise they would be telling other dudes about it.
posted by corb at 11:14 AM on November 10 [61 favorites]


But, how should these revelations really effect the reach of his creative output? His un-screened film is "banned".

Benvenuto Cellini was known as a creepy abuser, yet his work remains in the Vatican.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:18 AM on November 10


Text of Louis CK's comment.

"I'm sorry. But, look, here's a list of all my shows that are currently in production!". Fuck this guy.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:19 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I'd hope we can do better than the Catholic Church when it comes to sexual abuse.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:20 AM on November 10 [12 favorites]


"I'm sorry. But, look, here's a list of all my shows that are currently in production!". Fuck this guy.

Well, it does give us a convenient list of stuff to not watch or otherwise support.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:20 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


> His un-screened film is "banned".

Those quotation marks are important. It isn't legally banned; theaters are welcome to show it, if they think it's a wise business decision.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:21 AM on November 10 [5 favorites]


He mentions that he asked, but somehow managed to leave out whether the people he asked said yes.

Answer: "You asked but we never said yes."
posted by maxsparber at 11:21 AM on November 10 [23 favorites]


I was asking honestly. I never watch stand-up shows, but do watch sit-coms and dramas with comic elements. Before his show, I'd only known of him through the talk show clip of his that went viral about how "everything is amazing, but nobody is happy" clip, which I didn't find as inspiring or enlightening as everyone posting it did. I liked his FX show, which friends had talked up. It was bold, and helped break down barriers between sit-coms and dramas, when it worked. I thought it had problems with it from time to time, and especially in the awful final season (which looks even worse in the light of all this news).
posted by raysmj at 11:21 AM on November 10


I've never had a consensual sexual encounter and then afterward said, man, I'd better have an employee muscle them to shut up about it.

That's it I think. The thing that pisses me off about this. Playing of rapey, deliberately non-consensual encounters with 'innocent mistake by my blundering idiot self who just didn't get what's acceptable in sex and behaviour with women!'. No, you meant to do it, and the fact that other people had to clean up after you, yet you continued to do it, means you know the score. I'm actually angry that people will fall for this.
posted by everydayanewday at 11:22 AM on November 10 [19 favorites]


> How powerful was he? Big within stand-up, I'd guess, but everything else he did seemed high profile with critics but otherwise severely niche.

Think about what you're saying here: That because he doesn't have whatever amount of power equals a lot of non-"niche" to you, what he did to women is... not that bad? There could have been even more women victimized if he had more power? True, I guess, but that doesn't mean that the women whose lives and careers he affected count less because gosh, it could have been worse.

Your statement is really... Like, you don't know how much power he has, and because you don't know, it can't have been a lot. And since it wasn't a lot, then what he did to women was...

Where were you going with this?
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on November 10 [42 favorites]


I mean, if you were asking in earnest, there are resources.
posted by maxsparber at 11:24 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


People are falling for it and defending him in this very thread.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:25 AM on November 10 [29 favorites]


I think we can do better than the Catholic Church when it comes to sexual abuse.

Saw that coming as soon as I hit enter. Change "the Vatican" to "the Louvre", then.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:26 AM on November 10


Yeah, he's a silvertounged lying creepy shitstain. Him saying "the right things" is meaningless.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:27 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


What was being questioned was his stating whether he had power over people because he was admired, or if he had big power in the marketplace, and whether he was just trying to make himself sound "admired" by repeating the word. His (non stand-up, at least--don't know about the specials) TV and movie status was built atop critical admiration more than commercial success, which was minimal. He'd had a failed HBO show too, to my understanding, but I'd never watched it.
posted by raysmj at 11:27 AM on November 10


So yesterday I was talking to my husband about the Louis CK allegations, and he was like “oh yeah it’s bad but this is just so bizarre, I mean what dude would ever masturbate in front of women he wasn’t having sex with?” And then I was like “I literally cannot remember the number of times that men have non consentually masturbated in front of me because it was so many fucking times” and he was just shocked and bewildered.

A guy once jerked off at me in the Seattle Public Library. I was trying to study and he'd been trying to hit on me, and at first I'd been polite but not really taking my attention away from my books, hoping he'd take the hint and leave me be without me having to ask him to go away, but NOPE. So finally I was like, "sorry, I really can't talk, I need to study. Have a good day!" Dude got mad, took a seat in an aisle a few feet away within my line of sight but out of view of the people around me, pulled his dick out of his sweatpants, and started jerking off while glaring at me like he wanted to kick my ass.

Unfortunately for him my startle response is to shout loudly, which I did. (It's fun to yell "Do not masturbate at ME, sir!!" in a quiet place.) He ran off, and I went to tell security (who couldn't do much, but they were at least sympathetic, and the librarians were great), but I was creeped out for the rest of the day and a long time afterward. It was so obviously a response to not getting what he wanted; I wouldn't respond to his flirtations, so he showed me where my place was.

That's not the first time or the last time that a man has exposed themselves to me, but men always act so fucking shocked when they hear these stories. I'm so tired of people choosing to be blind to incredibly harmful things because paying attention is too emotionally difficult for them.
posted by palomar at 11:27 AM on November 10 [98 favorites]


Sure, once he's long dead and his works are public domain so neither he nor his estate are getting any cut, then we can talk about whether the work is redeemable as separate from the artist, or artistically meaningful enough to warrant it.

That's what the Louvre analogy would be.
posted by Dysk at 11:28 AM on November 10 [18 favorites]


That thing was very clearly not put through a legal or PR team.

Legal probably not but PR I would think so. It read to me like it was carefully crafted based on knowledge of critiques made of other recent such statements.

As noted above the only good thing to say for his statement is that he acknowledged that the women were telling the truth.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:28 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


So yesterday I was talking to my husband about the Louis CK allegations, and he was like “oh yeah it’s bad but this is just so bizarre, I mean what dude would ever masturbate in front of women he wasn’t having sex with?”

The first (and thank God thus far, only, although I've been subjected to plenty of other sexual harassment) time a strange man masturbated at me in public I was eight. Maaaaybe nine. It's not a sex thing, except insofar as it's a sex thing because it's a power thing.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:30 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


It doesn't matter if someone has power in terms of national acclaim, or visibility outside a niche interest or genre, or if someone's endeavors are commercially or financially successful. All that matters is he has power within his circle. We talked about this re: the Chicago theater community over a year ago.
posted by misskaz at 11:31 AM on November 10 [11 favorites]


> His (non stand-up, at least--don't know about the specials) TV and movie status was built atop critical admiration more than commercial success, which was minimal. He'd had a failed HBO show too, to my understanding, but I'd never watched it.

You don't have to be wildly commercially successful to have power over a vast majority of stand-up comedians. Most of them are reaaaally broke. If you were in a position to get an HBO show, even if it didn't do well, you're in the top 1% of working comics. I'm not saying there was no admiration for his work, but his power within the industry was immense even before he broke out with full mainstream recognition of his work.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:34 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Stopping the victims being dragged through the mud as if they are lying liars is the absolute LEAST these assholes can do.

It's the absolute minimum we should expect from anyone doing this shit. And it's utterly depressing that mere admission deserves a gold star these days.

I'm going to get shitfaced today aren't I.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 11:35 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


> What was being questioned was his stating whether he had power over people because he was admired, or if he had big power in the marketplace, and whether he was just trying to make himself sound "admired" by repeating the word.

He had literal power over peoples' careers. He could blackball people. What additional power would be necessary for you to concede that this is an adequate level of power?
posted by rtha at 11:36 AM on November 10 [16 favorites]


His TV and movie status was built atop critical admiration more than commercial success, which was minimal.

Name recognition. Just like many more people will know that Woody Allen is married to Soon-Yi than have seen his films, Louis CK's name and face and recognisable to many more people than have ever sat down to watch his comedy. He's on my Netflix along with Allen and Polanski and Spacey and all the bloody rest of them.
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:36 AM on November 10


It doesn't even matter if he had no power over anyone's careers at all. It'd still be abuse. It wouldn't mitigate that abuse in any conceivable way.
posted by dng at 11:36 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


tonycpsu: Yeah, can see that. Can also see why he would have been completely blind to that, since it sounds like it was a disaster all the way around (not even gaining critical admiration then).

(Again, I was reacting to the "he's just making himself admired" stuff, not saying that this was OK. I'm also a bit put off by people going on about "we never liked his stuff" after all this. People did like it.)
posted by raysmj at 11:37 AM on November 10


People are falling for it and defending him in this very thread.

I'm not seeing anyone in this thread defending him. If you read my comment to think I was, I'm sorry about not phrasing it well enough. Fuck him. Fuck all predators. The absolute first thing all predators need to do is publically state their victims aren't lying, because we have this shitty problem with victims being disbelieved and raked through the mud. Then they should held accountable in the law, make reparations, and get help. That was my point.
posted by greermahoney at 11:38 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


"Well I don't follow the stand-up comedy industry enough to have been more than vaguely aware of Louis CK's decades-long status as one of the most famous and esteemed working comedians, but I'm pretty sure that means he didn't actually have much power in this industry I am largely ignorant of"
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:39 AM on November 10 [32 favorites]


I like how greermahoney put it:

He fucking admitted his victims weren't lying. [...] He didn't say he was drunk and didn't remember. He didn't say "if it happened." [...] I hope he gets help. I hope he pays for help for all his victims. And I hope he shuts up and goes away now.
posted by philip-random at 11:41 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I was aware of his status as a critical darling and producer in television. I was not aware of any esteem around the time of the incidents discussed, the early to mid-2000s. Wikipedia has it that this was the time his stand-up career took off.
posted by raysmj at 11:42 AM on November 10


Why on earth are you choosing "was he famous enough" as your hill to die on? Can you not just take the word of people who follow the stand-up world, or better yet, can you not just take the word of the women he victimized??
posted by cooker girl at 11:47 AM on November 10 [31 favorites]


I was aware of his status as a critical darling and producer in television. I was not aware of any esteem around the time of the incidents discussed, the early to mid-2000s

He was a writer on Conan before that, one of the main shows comedians could use to break out to a larger audience.
posted by drezdn at 11:50 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true.

I don't believe this for a second and I hope to god nobody else is fool enough to assume he's telling the truth. or even that he thinks he is.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:50 AM on November 10 [24 favorites]


Oh he asked first, he just never waited to hear the answer, or if he did, he didn't care what it was.

And he had the power in the situation simply because he's a man. It doesn't matter how famous he is.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:53 AM on November 10 [23 favorites]


I cannot conceive of a woman who'd be all "Sure, I'm cool with that" with a dude whose dick they are not already very, very consentingly acquainted with and both of them are aware that is their idea of a fun time.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:54 AM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Oh he asked first, he just never waited to hear the answer, or if he did, he didn't care what it was.

sometimes he did, sure! but remember the bit in the article where he apologized to a woman he'd jerked off at for the wrong thing, for "shoving her in the bathroom." and she didn't know what that was about because he'd forgotten which woman he'd done what to.

I flatly do not believe he always asked first, even taking that to mean he asked, they said no, he did it anyway. he himself has made it clear he doesn't even remember much of what he did. but even if he did. he is just not credible.

and I don't even think he says he won't do it again!
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:57 AM on November 10 [13 favorites]


[Y'all let's drop the "but how famous was he really" thing, even taken at face value it's a needlessly distracting thing to dig in on.]
posted by cortex at 11:57 AM on November 10 [15 favorites]


I'm realizing that being a woman in this society has made me put the bar super low for men "apologizing" for doing shit like this. I read his letter and thought "Well, that's not bad." And then I read the responses here and think "Goddammit, they're right. I'm letting him off the hook. This letter is gross."

Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like? Can there be a good apology?
posted by mcduff at 12:01 PM on November 10 [25 favorites]


As far as statements in response to these sorts of things go, I guess his was one of the better ones, but yeah, it still falls far short. His whole image has always been about how he's sort of a weird piece of shit (although not a particularly bad guy...?), and to me his statement fits with his public personality.

He never admitted that the simple act of asking women he had a professional relationship with if he could masturbate in front of them, or masturbating while talking to them on the phone is just fucking beyond the pale. What in the world made him think that was okay, whether these women admired him or not?

It's really important to remember how much bigger than Louis CK this whole thing is. It really is our culture. And not just America or the entertainment industry, but the culture of what so many men in positions of power have been allowed to get away with in their treatment of women for so long. It's been a normal state of affairs for so long. It's only recently that women's stories about being sexually abused by respected, powerful men are finally getting the credence they deserve. And it's being treated like it actually matters.

Men like Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK only assumed they could get away with it because they always have.
posted by wondermouse at 12:03 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


I don't even see this as an issue of Louis's objective Q-rating popularity in the culture at large (which truthfully is mostly concerned with Youtube stars and Kardashian-adjacent personages) but rather with his influence within the world of American comedy, which was huge. And if his shenanigans chased even one promising female comic out of the industry, or otherwise limited the opportunities of known female comics who should be bigger than they are, that's worth discussing.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:04 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]



Dudes don't need all sorts of big wig power to have an effect over jobs and careers. All it takes is for a guy to be buddies with another person (usually a guy but women do this too) who is in some sort of decision making capacity over you and you either accept what buddy is doing or you're just done. Its just about being in the 'in' group of whatever context.

It's that simple. Doesn't matter if it's Hollywood or some little business in Nowhereville. You have a job, dude creeps and skeevs, dude is friend/colleague/business buddy with person who has power over you and you have to decide. What kind of person is my boss? Am I sure they're gonna take my side over their long-term friend or associate? No not sure? Then I either talk and risk losing my job and possibly getting a name in the industry or I just say fuck it and leave without saying anything.

I quit a small town cool job for exactly these reasons. It was a cool job. Boss's good buddy did something unexpected and skeevy. It wasn't illegal but it sucked. I did the calculations. I made an assessment based on the power dynamics of the situation, decided it wasn't worth it and quit.

If Louis CK had buddies in the 'in' crowd of the social and job circles he lived and worked in then that was enough.
posted by Jalliah at 12:06 PM on November 10 [28 favorites]


This is all from a pretty pathetic period in his life when he was a struggling standup in a miserable marriage heading for divorce and was depressed and acting weird in various ways. He has since cleaned up, changed his life, and has not been doing this creepy shit for many years now. All his major success came after he cleaned up his act which I don't think is a coincidence. You can see he is ashamed of how he used to be and is being honest about what happened. Confirming the women's stories was the right thing to do. Nobody ever does that. Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.
posted by w0mbat at 12:06 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like? Can there be a good apology?

Somebody on Twitter said that unless they see the words restorative justice in one of these tweets, they don't want to see it.
posted by maxsparber at 12:06 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like? Can there be a good apology?

"I did what they said I did.* I apologize for all the hurt I have caused.** I am in treatment to address my issues.*** I will never again put myself in a position to abuse any power I have.**** Maybe something about donating a large sum of money to a victim's advocate group. Also something about leaving the industry."

*admits responsibility
**Not "the hurt I may have caused."
***Because it helps to know this, for me.
****See above.
posted by cooker girl at 12:07 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


He fucking admitted his victims weren't lying. [

Woman: I was robbed!
Everyone: Oh, no, that's awful!

Woman: Someone rear ended me and took off!
Everyone: Oh, no, that's awful!

Woman: Someone stole my identity!
Everyone: Oh, no, that's awful!

Woman: My neighbor was stealing my cable!
Everyone: Oh, no, that's awful!

Woman: I was sexually abused/harrased/assaulted!
Everyone: Wellll....
posted by Room 641-A at 12:08 PM on November 10 [42 favorites]


It's a terrible apology (the words "sorry", "apologize", "wrong," and "abuse" appear nowhere in it, for starters) and I'm looking forward to seeing SorryWatch's analysis.
posted by Lexica at 12:09 PM on November 10 [18 favorites]


Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.

Good thing you're not one of the victims, then, who are the only ones who matter in this situation.
posted by cooker girl at 12:09 PM on November 10 [70 favorites]


Stephanie Allynne (actor, producer, Notaro's wife) had some things to say about that statement.
posted by schroedinger at 12:11 PM on November 10 [15 favorites]


Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like?

I think it would come before the news stories.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 12:13 PM on November 10 [50 favorites]


Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.

Is this your view on other criminals? If I burgled your house and stole all your stuff and left you destitute ten years ago, and got away with it, would you accept “but that was a long time ago and my life was worse back then” as a reason why I should face zero consequences for the harm I did? Or are crimes against women somehow, magically, less of a big deal than crimes against property?
posted by Aravis76 at 12:13 PM on November 10 [77 favorites]


This is all from a pretty pathetic period in his life when he was a struggling standup

2002? After he was a staff writer on the Chris Rock show? After he had written Pootie Tang for Chris Rock? When he was a cast member on Home Movies? When he was a writer on Cedric the Entertainer Presents? After he had been the head writer on The Dana Carvey show? After he had been a staff writer for Conan and Letterman? Eight years after HBO had relwased his first one-man comedy special?

Fuck's sake.
posted by maxsparber at 12:13 PM on November 10 [67 favorites]


Even if the last instance of abuse was 10+ years ago and he's truly changed his ways, why did he deny it every time it's come up over the past several years? What's he done to mitigate the damage to his victims' careers? Did he ever even apologize to them before now, even if in private? No, he's been a remorseless shitbird up until yesterday, when his luck ran out.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:13 PM on November 10 [41 favorites]


Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like? Can there be a good apology?

"Regarding any and all times when my behavior may have included a criminal act, my victims should know that if they choose to report it to the police, I will maintain my remorseful and confessional attitude, proving that it is not an act or a play for sympathy. I will cooperate, plead guilty and do everything I can to make the process go quickly and smoothly so as not to drag it out for you. I will not attempt to lawyer my way out of anything, even if it would be easy. This pledge also goes for any crimes I may commit in the future because, well, we all know me."
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:13 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


It's a good thing he admitted that all allegations were true. That doesn't mean he should suffer no consequences.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:14 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Whoops. Spoke too soon. Now I'm seeing the apologists.
posted by greermahoney at 12:14 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I'm 49 and I wish I was as much of a failure as Louis CK was in 2002.
posted by maxsparber at 12:19 PM on November 10 [23 favorites]


after he has put in the work and become a much better person

Shouldn't that process have included trying to repair the professional and emotional damage he did to the people he assaulted? If he didn't, and I don't see any evidence that he did, then he hasn't really done the work he needs to to catch a break for this.

There's no way he can totally make up for the damage he caused, but he could sure do a lot more than saying "At least I asked before I whipped it out."

Ceasing to be a complete shitheel is such a low bar to clear that he deserves no praise at all for managing to stop his abhorrent behavior.

Why should his career survive when by his actions he pretty much destroyed other people's careers? The punishment fits the crime.

What benefit? How about being a deterrent to others who might feel entitled to abuse and destroy careers like he did?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:20 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


Someone who can't issue an apology using the word "sorry" or any of the other words Lexica mentioned hasn't put in even the minimal amount of work, let alone become a better person. If anything, it shows that they're leaning even more into their manipulative side thinking that it will buy them pity.

And worse, it's working.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:21 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]




What bothers me about Louis CK is not that I admired him, but that he told jokes that seemed to indicate he "gets it" about the ways men are horrible to women. It's disturbing to get more proof that being able to see, analyze, ridicule, and shame men's bad behavior is insufficient to prevent a man from behaving badly in the same way.
posted by straight at 12:23 PM on November 10 [29 favorites]


This is all from a pretty pathetic period in his life when he was a struggling standup in a miserable marriage heading for divorce and was depressed and acting weird in various ways. He has since cleaned up, changed his life, and has not been doing this creepy shit for many years now. All his major success came after he cleaned up his act which I don't think is a coincidence. You can see he is ashamed of how he used to be and is being honest about what happened. Confirming the women's stories was the right thing to do. Nobody ever does that. Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.

To quote a friend:
“HE HAD THE SADS SO HIS BONER WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE ROOM”
posted by runcibleshaw at 12:24 PM on November 10 [83 favorites]


he doesn't get anything. the worst he thinks he did to these women is made them feel badly about themselves (!!! about THEMSELVES he thinks) and "cautious" around men in general, and some very light awareness that he might have hurt their careers.

he does not admit that a man taking out his dick at you in a room alone with you is a threat. a physical threat. not just awkward or gross or embarrassing or depressing. an assault upon your safety that will end when he chooses, not when you do. he does not get, admit, or acknowledge that whether or not you consider his admitted actions to constitute physical violence by themselves, although of course I do, they are unquestionably a physical and sexual threat. he did these things to elicit fear and submission, and he got them. he is minimizing like a champ.
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:30 PM on November 10 [66 favorites]


(I should have said "he seemed to me" given that there are plenty of women in this thread who saw indications of all this in his routines a long time ago.)
posted by straight at 12:30 PM on November 10


Any thoughts on what a good apology would look like?

A sincere apology might look something like this: "I am guilty of everything these women have claimed and I am ashamed. I would offer a sincere apology if I thought it would matter to anyone, but what I have done cannot be taken back or undone. I am a human shitstain, and nothing I say can ever change that. I will provide substantial financial restitution to my victims in a weak-assed attempt to redress some small part of the harm I have caused. I will then turn myself in to the police and confess my crimes in whole without reservations or excuse. Upon release, I will never attempt to work in the public sector again or in any way profit from my notoriety. I am sorry, but really, no one should care how I feel. I deserve no regard."
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 12:32 PM on November 10 [18 favorites]


Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.

The benefit is that he doesn’t profit from his horrible behavior, and it serves as a warning to other men to not use their power and authority to force subordinates into sexual favors, or they too might lose their career, their success and all their admirers, and potentially receive legal consequences to boot. As a result, men would be creepy and predatory far less often. As a result, both men and women in subordinate positions would be able to have their careers advance on merit, instead of being subjected to predatory behavior at the whim of those in positions of authority.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:33 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


I see no benefit in destroying his career now,

The unspoken part of this equation is that we are not actually in any position to destroy his career, except by refusing to be audience members. It's the only power any of us have. We cannot hire him, we cannot fire him, we cannot green light his projects, we cannot refuse to book him for comedy events, all we can do is refuse to support him.

So by complaining that we are somehow destroying his career, the actual complaint is that we will no longer continue to actively support him by being his audience.

I got so caught up on the terrible rape apology in the first part of that comment to even get to the second part, which is that we also have to continue to buy his albums, see his movies, see him live, whatever, because otherwise we are ruining his career.

He'll never see another dollar from me. Because I get to decide who I spend my money on, and there are a lot of people I could spend it on who weren't serial harassers because they were sad that they were in the top 5 percent of all comics in history, rather than the top 1 percent.
posted by maxsparber at 12:38 PM on November 10 [61 favorites]


straight: It's disturbing to get more proof that being able to see, analyze, ridicule, and shame men's bad behavior is insufficient to prevent a man from behaving badly in the same way.

The difference between insight and action can be large in pretty much any area of human activity. I don't find it surprising at all. Never mistake good moral reasoning for good moral action. (I'm reminded of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, who wrote powerfully about the importance of non-violence while sexually abusing and harassing dozens/hundreds of students, colleagues, and random women.)
posted by clawsoon at 12:40 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, if "destroying his career" simply means I won't watch his shows from now on, that's not a major personal sacrifice.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:41 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


He denied it, he made it out like people, WOMEN, who were talking about it were nuts or he was just so confused why they'd say those things, the men around him did everything they could to not answer the questions - which pretty much says they knew but Louis CK wasn't near so apologetic and remorseful in private in the ways that matter. THE MOVIE THAT IS "BANNED" (are you fucking kidding me?) IS AN ODE TO WOODY ALLEN WHERE HE PUTS A GUY MASTURBATING AT LENGTH AND DISCUSSES WHY IT'S NOT A FUCKING PROBLEM. Are you fucking kidding me? Is there nothing that people won't trip over themselves to forgive once a dude sorta kinda says he's sorry? How much of this is because he's admired? Roy Moore's crimes were a long time ago. If he came out and admitted it, would you think his debt was paid? Of course fucking not. But this guy makes art you like so it's cool, even though basically every single artistic project he's engaged in since he's "gotten better" or whatever includes bright neon lights to his crimes, and often told to show why he's not an abuser just a sad dicked man. FUCK THAT. People should be fucking ashamed of themselves. How little does it take? Seriously.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:42 PM on November 10 [51 favorites]


The last guy who non-consensually masturbated in front of me to completion was more than a decade ago. I've forgotten his name. He was a "friend." I still remember the way his cum smells and how I "went along" to get out of there without worse happening.

This apology is bullshit and if you can't see that, do some heavy self reflection.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:44 PM on November 10 [24 favorites]


The last guy who non-consensually masturbated in front of me to completion

Last guy? JFC my gender wonders why women think they're all creeps. No person should ever have to write those words in that order but I'm pretty sure more women than I could ever predict would have reason to write them.
posted by Talez at 12:48 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


Marc Maron's response.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:52 PM on November 10




Maron is already getting hammered for implying that Twitter is a poor medium for addressing the Louis imbroglio. BUT I’m pretty sure he could fit “This behavior is appalling and I’m ashamed of my (former) friend and the damage he’s caused” into whatever the Twitter minimum is these days. Oof.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:57 PM on November 10 [12 favorites]


I was nine the first time it happened - not to completion, but seeing a man's dick (unless we're counting continued molestation, in which case, younger). This was in a small southern state, not a city. The first time I went to NYC I had been in town less than 4 hours before a man was taking upskirt shots of me and my friend on the train. I've forgotten more of these stories than I remember. I also have to use "rapists" in the plural when talking about my history. I don't have close in personal male friends except the very very rare exception. Some of us have more stories than others, but most of us have too many stories regardless.

Men are convinced that the way through their depression, low self esteem, attachment issues, or whatever ever else they claim is through the breaking of other people, often girls and women. Then culture turns around and teaches us that we're some kind of brave warrior, stronger, a survivor, for just living, barely - those of us who don't make it through alive or what most would see as functioning are then mocked, pitied, and shamed. The men find redemption with the same bullshit they pulled to silence their victims and shield their enablers.

I make no excuses for my disgust of toxic masculinity and the way people push it along.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:58 PM on November 10 [33 favorites]


When I started high school (11 here) my mum told me that if a man started to touch himself in front of me I was just to walk away quickly as possible, and I remember girls at my school discussing similar advice they'd had (including to point and laugh, which idk) but it was definitely a standard part of the experience for many.
posted by threetwentytwo at 12:58 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Marc Maron is a coward who using Louis's name to get listeners. It's a familiar pattern. Grosser this time for sure, though.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:59 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


He's goddamn right Twitter's not a good medium for addressing it. To wit, "I read the article and none of it is good." That could mean either: 'The reporting isn't good' or 'CK's assaults aren't good.' I'd want to be a little clearer about where I stood on that one. Also, cool plug for his podcast.
posted by marshmallow peep at 1:00 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


Maron is already getting hammered for implying that Twitter is a poor medium for addressing the Louis imbroglio. BUT I’m pretty sure he could fit “This behavior is appalling and I’m ashamed of my (former) friend and the damage he’s caused” into whatever the Twitter minimum is these days.

Yeah, but it's Maron, so he's more inclined to ramble on for 25 minutes on his podcast first.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:01 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Last guy? JFC my gender wonders why women think they're all creeps. No person should ever have to write those words in that order but I'm pretty sure more women than I could ever predict would have reason to write them.

And it doesn't matter if you know them or not. You're comment made me sit back and count them up and now I'm even shocked at how many times it's happened and I lived it. I got 5 for sures and 2-3 I'm pretty sure that this was happening. Half were random strangers the others men I knew in some capacity. First time I know of I was 5 years old. He was 13.
posted by Jalliah at 1:03 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


LOUIS: [just lists a bunch of facts about shit he did]
GOONS: Wow this is some apology
posted by beerperson at 1:04 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


To be fair, Maron's been talking off and on on his podcast for a while about the fact that he has disengaged from Twitter a lot. I expect he'll address this on Monday's show.
posted by Automocar at 1:04 PM on November 10


I was 11 or 12 when other girls told me about the chalk trick. Didn't do much for teachers rubbing their dicks on our arms or back while we were seated, but it at least kept us from having to stare at the bulge on our desks.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:07 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


We edited Louis C.K.’s “apology” to make it a real apology.

Which reminds me of another thing: Up until about a week ago, I'd been on Louis C.K.'s email marketing list since 2011 or so, whenever it was that he decided to try selling his standup specials straight to the fans for a few bucks a pop. All of his marketing emails were written conversationally in the form of a plainspoken personal letter, which I remember at the time thinking was charming in a just-folks sort of way.

(I unsubscribed when the email list started plugging his new movie, because I'd already heard enough about the accusations and the content of the film to feel sick to my stomach whenever I thought about them.)

What I find striking about the apology statement is that its voice sounds nothing like the voice on those disarmingly direct promotional emails. It's basically a weird self-serving denial wrapped in the language of a sincere apology, and it makes me wonder how in the hell he was able to carry the film all the way to the eve of its release without literally imploding from utter moral failure. It makes me sad and angry at myself that I was ever a fan.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:10 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


I first saw a grown man’s genitals when I was six years old. My mom worked overnight shifts at her job, and when I woke up one morning her boyfriend was sprawled out on the couch with his pants open and a stack of skin mags strewn about the room.

Saturday morning was my day to watch cartoons, so I tucked his dick into his pants, zipped and buttoned his fly, pushed aside the stack of Playboys, and turned on the cartoons. I still remember how he felt when I dressed him.

I told my mom about this when I was six times that age. She was shocked and disappointed, but there wasn’t much she felt she could do.

These poor women.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:23 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Now that people have been popping into my mentions on Twitter to defend CK, and seeing the responses in Maron and Paul F Tompkins, I can tell you that that apology was crafted.

I am sure it went through a lawyer, because there is nothing self-incriminating in there, and it is written in the sort of heartfelt, I have blundered and am contrite style that actually has no contrition to it, because nothing is being fixed or helped or resolved.

No, it was a clarion call the scumbag male comedians and scumbag male comedy fans, who are rising in force to his defense, because he said he was sorry and what do you want, to ruin him?

You can't tell me for a second that he didn't know what he was doing, which was recognizing that he was going to lose a lot of fans, and salvaging who he could. And who he salvaged were the gamergate wing of comedy, which, having been part of that community for one short year, I can tell you from personal experience is the majority.

They have forgiven him, and then will now fight for him, because only SJWs and white knights wouldn't accept an apology like that and know he's a better man now and doesn't need to be endlessly punished for some mistake he made more than a decade ago when he was sad and confused and depressed, and, besides, he asked permission.

He knew he was doing, because even guys who seem like they get it, when backed into a corner, when push comes to shove, when their income depends on it, will rally their troops, and his troops right now are shitty men.

And you know how I know this is the case? Because I could have predicted this, and I'm not Louis CK. He definitely knew what the little sexist monsters in the comedy community would do. And he could have made gestures to stem it, his letter could have addressed these monsters and said, I know you will be tempted to do this, but don't. He could be wading in now to say cut it out.

These are the same dudes who went after Lindy West, which he never said anything about either. And now they're his online army, doing his damage control by aggressively harassing women and men who aren't satisfied with his apology.
posted by maxsparber at 1:24 PM on November 10 [61 favorites]


He has since cleaned up, changed his life, and has not been doing this creepy shit for many years now.

He has, however, lied about it, made a tv show where a character falls for her attempted rapist, and made a movie that is an ode to Woody Allen with a public masturbation scene. He also did not admit that he blackballed his victims and says he learned how damaging his behavior was "yesterday." Even if all that weren't true, worrying about the affect of abuse allegations on the abuser is such cliche rape apologia that it would definitely be on the rape culture bingo card.
posted by Mavri at 1:24 PM on November 10 [38 favorites]


Anna Paquin tweet:

"If you can't think of the glaringly obvious reason I remained silent then perhaps you've forgotten that I've been in this victim grooming industry since before I hit puberty".
posted by threetwentytwo at 1:36 PM on November 10 [66 favorites]


That Paquin tweet just made me wince out loud. I loved her as Rogue and just put 2+2 together.
posted by lkc at 1:41 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


I keep thinking of Thora Birch and how likely it is she was abused by her father/manager and people in the industry. How much talent has been stifled because of what we allow abusers to do?
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:45 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Now that people have been popping into my mentions on Twitter to defend CK, and seeing the responses in Maron and Paul F Tompkins

For anyone else whose heart dropped a little reading that and thinking PFT was responding in an awful way, Tompkins was ripping into how shitty the "apology" was, not defending CK.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:46 PM on November 10 [30 favorites]


Miami Herald article about Jen Kirkman, which seems to clear up the confusion about her initial comments re: LCK back in 2015.

And I did the same thing when I read the comment that referred to PFT. He's still good, friends!
posted by elsietheeel at 1:47 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


His fauxpology now doesn't mean shit to me because as recently as September, women like Tig Notaro and Jen Kirkman got hung out to dry for attempting to talk about CK's sexual harassment and abuse, and all he had to say was, "I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real."

So fuck him now.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:48 PM on November 10 [48 favorites]




Maron is already getting hammered for implying that Twitter is a poor medium for addressing the Louis imbroglio.

Well, Twitter is indeed a poor medium for managing this kind of problem. I suggest we set up an arena, put Louis CK in the middle of it, and fill the stands with women who have been victims of sexual assault. On the arena floor with him, we can place all the women he has directly assaulted, forced to be involuntary participants in his sex life, or penalized for their failure to do so.

They can... talk through their concerns. We'll watch. We'll record the... conversations... to share with other guys who might be thinking Louis CK was a fine role model and they want to be like him when they grow up.

Since that's not going to happen, we're settling for options like "exchange tweets."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:54 PM on November 10


Ok super bravo to Entertainment Weekly for using the postscript to call out why this apology appeared today.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:55 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, count me in the "I don't give a shit about his apology" camp as well. In fact, there is no apology he could give that would matter, because I don't fucking care about his feelings or what he has to say about what he did. Focusing on the apology is just another way of erasing the experiences of his victims - it centers his feelings rather than theirs.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 1:56 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Maron is already getting hammered for implying that Twitter is a poor medium for addressing the Louis imbroglio. BUT I’m pretty sure he could fit “This behavior is appalling and I’m ashamed of my (former) friend and the damage he’s caused” into whatever the Twitter minimum is these days. Oof.

Let’s please not require people to comment on this or any other matter on dumbass social media services and judge them harshly if they don’t.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:56 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


I'm going to be 0% surprised if/when allegations start coming out about Maron behaving badly towards women. I'm not sure whether I think he's more likely to ignore this situation or to overplay his reaction to seem like a good guy, but I have no faith that he'd actually mean it. The creeper vibes roll off him like B.O., especially at his live shows (and even more especially when he starts picking on women in the audience).

Yeah I feel like there's something really nasty there, because Maron is open about being pretty shitty to women in his relationships, and about being at least verbally abusive in relationships, and above all about being this hair trigger narcissistic rage monster all the time, and I feel like if that's the surface stuff he doesn't bother to hide (or hides behind), holy shit the unredacted version of his behavior might be something horrible.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:01 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


I don't judge Maron harshly for his mealy mouthed tweet, I judge him for using it to plug his show. He could just talk on his show, he could go do an interview with someone, he could put up a medium post, he could say nothing (although I don't suggest it) - really so many options between a twitter comment and using it for a bump in listeners.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:01 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Maron could have just kept his mouth shut and not said anything about Louis C.K.

But he chose to tweet about Louis CK specifically, and then he chose to not say anything other than Twitter sux! and hey listen to WTF if you want my opinion!

Sorry Maron, but that's total BS.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:05 PM on November 10 [15 favorites]


In fact, there is no apology he could give that would matter

I'm always willing to be receptive to a sincere, real apology. A real apology admits actual wrongdoing, not "well, technically I wasn't supposed to," and offers an attempt to undo the harm done. While a public-facing apology really shouldn't call out his victims by name, it could say that he's contacted them (or their managers/agents, if they don't want anything to do with him) and offered them... something. Leverage in their next contracts. Access to networking that they didn't have. Willingness to sign a confession. Willingness to testify in civil court.
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.
No, you fuckhead; the power you had over them was that IF THEY REPORTED YOU FOR CRIMES, NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE THEM. Their admiration, if it existed, is not what gave you power over them. They were not afraid of losing your regard. They were afraid that if they reacted the wrong way, the encounter would get much worse, and if they told anyone, their career would be ruined.

And the rest of his babble is "I regret having been a bad boy, long ago before I knew better." That's an appropriate segment of an apology for a teenager who was a vicious brat a few years ago; it's got no value in an actions entirely inside an adult's career.

Even if I accepted that it's "unreasonable" for him to tank his own career with an apology, and that he's not going to incriminate himself with specific details - he's not saying what he's going to do differently in the future. There's some vague hint of "I'm over that now," but since he doesn't seem to know what he actually did wrong, there's nothing reliable about that.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:09 PM on November 10 [26 favorites]


I see no benefit in destroying his career now

Industry needs to learn not to circle the wagons around abusers, and the way to do that is to burn to the ground everything that bears their names. Make the revenue streams toxic. Going after the bottom line is the only real way to change the culture that has shielded these men.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:11 PM on November 10 [42 favorites]


I dunno, if he’s getting peppered with demands for a comment, I don’t blame him for letting people know he’ll comment soon. Why write a Medium post or tweet when you have a huge platform already to give (what I assume will be) a detailed response? I just think he’s getting some unnecessary grar here. Anyway, sideshow, let’s move on.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:14 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


If he hadn't used Louis's name so often to advertise for his show there might be a different reaction. He plugged his show like he always does. It comes off as gross. Maybe listen to women instead of arguing that they're being unnecessarily mean or whatever?
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:19 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


How many careers have abusive men destroyed directly or just by being around? Maybe when we replace all those people who have been pushed out and give them their due the abusers can get a second whack at the pinata.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:20 PM on November 10 [9 favorites]


"Master of None" S2: E10. Eerily prescient
posted by From Bklyn at 2:22 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


When he was first starting out, I was friendly with Louie and a lot of people in the Boston comedy scene: Dave Cross, Dana Gould, Lenny Clarke, Denis Leary, etc.

All I can say is 30 years ago, Louie was an asshole and there were more than a few of us who were annoyed that he managed to make it as big as he did. His whole faux feminist bullshit and sad clown tearfully raising daughters was always gross to watch knowing what a douche he was.

I hope he disappears and doesn't come back.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:28 PM on November 10 [44 favorites]


Maron could have just kept his mouth shut and not said anything about Louis C.K.

But he chose to tweet about Louis CK specifically, and then he chose to not say anything other than Twitter sux! and hey listen to WTF if you want my opinion!

Sorry Maron, but that's total BS.


I can easily see how this could happen.

-Louis CK story breaks yesterday, his podcast for that day had already been released
-Maron's mentions fill up with people asking him to comment on it
-He decides to tweet basically "horrible stuff, this is not the platform, I'll talk about it on my show"

I... don't see what's wrong with any of that?
posted by Automocar at 2:30 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


In a vacuum, sure whatever people don't think about how gross plugging your own show could be here, in the history of Maron and Louis & Maron and Maron's blind spots about women. Yuck.

Also, make no mistake, Maron, like everyone else, has known and has chosen to keep quiet until his next show comes out. A real brave warrior for truth and justice there.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:34 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I usually reserve judgement but I knew he was guilty after that first interview months ago when he was asked about these allegations and he brushed them off with something like "I don't talk about that. You can't worry about your reputation being clean in this industry..." It was his casual, offhand treatment of the accusations that killed me. I had liked this guy, but even Roy Moore and Weinstein showed a greater awareness of and reacted with more diplomacy to the seriousness of their similar charges. Louis C.K. manifestly did not get it.
posted by xammerboy at 2:43 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I checked the Twitter accounts of other well-known comedian associates/friends of Louis CK -- they're either radio silent or only tweeting stand-up dates. Maron could have left it alone and got on with his day.

Which is what we should all do with this derail.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:51 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Statistically, the people most likely to re-offend are people who expose themselves to others without their consent. It's a compulsion that is very, very difficult to break.

Source: A friend who runs court-mandated groups for the rehabilitation of registered sex offenders.

Personally, Louis CK is now fully dead to me. I can take his apology at face value, believe that he will or has done some counseling, accept that he will face financial and career consequences for his actions, but I can't un-know what he has done while watching or listening to his creative output. Much of his comedy was about how men are often the worst thing to happen to women, and I found it funny and true. It would be impossible for me to laugh at it now, thinking about all the women comics who watched his sets and probably considered him an ally, never imagining for a second that they'd be standing in a room with him while he dropped his pants.
posted by xyzzy at 2:54 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Take Bryan Singer. Dude is a sexual predator who's been sending his lawyers to aggressively suppress victims' stories for a long time. He's next, I surely hope.

I thought that was already completely KNOWN. Bryan Singer is the one celebrity I have personal knowledge of behaving in a skeevy manner. Many years ago I knew a young man who attracted his attention, who was invited to parties and his apartment. I'm not sure if he was 17 or 18 when these interactions happened, but he was young. He was a working actor as well, fairly desperate to break into Hollywood, and there was definitely an implication that Singer would help his career. I don't THINK things progressed to the point of actual assault with my friend, but it's completely possible something happened that he never told me about, because we weren't that kind of close. But Singer was definitely looking to get SOMETHING from this young, attractive gay actor, so when I heard later rumors I instantly believed them. The casting couch is still a thing.
posted by threeturtles at 2:57 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Confirming the women's stories was the right thing to do.

It would have been the right thing to do at any point during the past couple decades too, but mysteriously he chose to outright deny it until some of them finally went on the record.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:58 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


I thought that was already completely KNOWN.

The problem with the whisper network is that shit like this is 'totally obvious and old news' if you know the right people- and if you don't, you'll never know anything. Until it happens to you, of course.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:00 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]


these men have no idea how angry we are, do they?
posted by schadenfrau at 3:08 PM on November 10 [59 favorites]


I checked the Twitter accounts of other well-known comedian associates/friends of Louis CK -- they're either radio silent or only tweeting stand-up dates.

I don’t know if they even know each other, but this crossed my Twitter earlier:

Paul F. Tompkins
@PFTompkins
“I finally see how deeply my actions have affected other people emotionally since they are now affecting me financially.”
posted by Room 641-A at 3:09 PM on November 10 [54 favorites]


Also, you know what? Silence doesn’t cut it. Silence is permissive. It’s acceptance. It’s exactly what allows these predators to roam around preying upon people at will.

Anyone who’s staying silent now is complicit, too. I mean, for fucks sake, if you were close to a predator, if you profited off of your relationship to a predator, and you’re waiting to see exactly what the fall out is before you make a statement? Fuck you, you’re an enabler.

Seriously, fuck them all.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:14 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


This is all from a pretty pathetic period in his life when he was a struggling standup in a miserable marriage heading for divorce and was depressed and acting weird in various ways. He has since cleaned up, changed his life, and has not been doing this creepy shit for many years now. All his major success came after he cleaned up his act which I don't think is a coincidence. You can see he is ashamed of how he used to be and is being honest about what happened. Confirming the women's stories was the right thing to do. Nobody ever does that. Personally I see no benefit in destroying his career now, years later, after he has put in the work and become a much better person.

Wait, this is sarcasm, right?

Anyone who’s staying silent now is complicit, too. I mean, for fucks sake, if you were close to a predator, if you profited off of your relationship to a predator, and you’re waiting to see exactly what the fall out is before you make a statement? Fuck you, you’re an enabler.

Exactly, with the caveat that I'm applying it to the enablers, not the victims.

--------------

Can we all remember that confession can be the first step to trying to become a better person--but it can also be a powerful tool of manipulation? The dude never says he's sorry, he weaves in humblebragging, he never acknowledges that he forced women into this. It's fucked up. You also lose my sympathy when your apology has been preceded by years of denials and dismissing your victims, and you only put one out after it's clear it's going to impact you financially.
posted by schroedinger at 3:21 PM on November 10 [27 favorites]


Guy Branum for Vulture, "Tear Down the Boys’ Club That Protected Louis C.K.":
That boys’ club is the only real structure that exists in stand-up. The patronage and mentorship that good comics receive from more established male comics is how they get stage time, representation, and jobs. Improvisers and actors have schools and casting workshops to help them build skills and connections, but for a stand-up, you’re always just waiting for one of the guys — and it is always a guy — to pay attention and help you out. If you’re not part of their club, you learn that such mentorship rarely comes your way, and when it does, it often has a cost.
It's a short, tightly-written piece which makes it hard to pick out any single paragraph to excerpt so just head over and read it. It provides some insight into the power structure(s) at work in stand-up comedy.
posted by mhum at 3:57 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


It's a terrible apology (the words "sorry", "apologize", "wrong," and "abuse" appear nowhere in it, for starters)

This was the first thing that jumped out at me. Contrast with the lead on the this article about the statement (my italics):
Louis CK: Comedian issues apology on allegations of sexual misconduct saying 'these stories are true'

US comedian Louis CK has confirmed that allegations against him by several women of sexual misconduct are true and said that he is sorry for his actions.
No, he did everything except that.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:59 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]


Maybe they mean "Apology" in the archaic sense of "an explanation for why I'm right."
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:11 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


LCK was supposed to introduce several old movies at the Quad in NY. They're still being screened but his name has been stripped from the listing

His family moved to the Boston area in the mid 70s when he was 7, during the time of 2nd wave feminism. I highly doubt that he never realized that abusing women like this was unacceptable.
posted by brujita at 4:16 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


There's only one thing he could say that would make it a true apology:

"If these women want to press charges, I will plead guilty to spare them the stress of going through a trial."

Otherwise, he's not trying to apologize, he's trying to get forgiveness. What he did wasn't just abusive or just predatory, it was criminal.

If one thinks this is an extreme thing to demand, well, that's rape culture for ya.
posted by AlSweigart at 4:19 PM on November 10 [33 favorites]


Interesting, isn't it, how he apparently never tried this on women he didn't have power over? If it wasn't an intentional abuse of power, if he just accidentally used his power over these women, why aren't there a bunch of allegations from women who were peers or more powerful than him?
posted by katemonster at 4:30 PM on November 10 [30 favorites]




Here’s an article about how CK’s actions, and those of other famous men whose behavior has recently been widely publicized, taints the value of their work and their responsibility to the audience. It’s an interesting exploration on how it wasn’t just their victims that these men betrayed, but their fans. Good reading.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:41 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Michael Schur (@KenTremendous) tweeted last night:

Misogyny is a cancer. Harassment and abuse are that cancer metastasizing and going untreated. Stories like this being reported and printed are the first steps toward a cure. https://t.co/KgZXuzTNmB

I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry.

posted by elsietheeel at 4:47 PM on November 10 [14 favorites]


Yeah I feel like there's something really nasty there, because Maron is open about being pretty shitty to women in his relationships, and about being at least verbally abusive in relationships, and above all about being this hair trigger narcissistic rage monster all the time, and I feel like if that's the surface stuff he doesn't bother to hide (or hides behind), holy shit the unredacted version of his behavior might be something horrible.

Yup. Maron is another one of those like Louis CK where I don't get why he's so loved when he's so well, blunt about how awful he his. I wouldn't be surprised when the nasty revelations come out about him either.

these men have no idea how angry we are, do they?

Nope! I hope every woman goes and favorites that comment.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:03 PM on November 10 [12 favorites]


Autumnheart: "Here’s an article about how CK’s actions, and those of other famous men whose behavior has recently been widely publicized, taints the value of their work and their responsibility to the audience. It’s an interesting exploration on how it wasn’t just their victims that these men betrayed, but their fans. Good reading."

Matt Zoller Seitz, the author of that piece, gives the new movie 0.5 star out of four in his review (The half-star is for the cinematography and music). The summary:
I saw it a couple of weeks ago before the Times story broke and the distributor shelved it. My notes consist of a single sentence: "It's like he's rubbing it in our faces."
posted by octothorpe at 5:05 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


these men have no idea how angry we are, do they?

if only I could invite y'all to my Facebook
posted by philip-random at 5:19 PM on November 10


I am very conflicted by some of the sentiments expressed in this thread. I can’t conceive of a satisfactory punishment for some of the people here this side of committing public suicide, and even then someone will be groaning that he didn’t suffer for long enough. It may be a highly cathartic to pile on, to see Louis as a synecdoche for the whole rotten socio-sexual-economic-political system, as a partisan of every creep who ever wronged every woman, but the only people Louis CK has to apologize to are the women he wronged, not to you or me. He is exposed for what he is. His career is effectively over. I am, without approving in any way his actions, prepared to believe that this was a highly personal shame-abuse cycle, something that cropped up out of the same dysfunctional oracle of the soul that generated his standup. That which raised him up has now undone him. The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic, we go through it alone, and that entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups. Nothing will be learned and nothing will get better.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 5:28 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Having read the apology, I think I was simply wrong upthread. Judging from his words, there's nothing particularly wrong with his mind, clinically. He had simply come to the conclusion that if you ask nicely, masturbating in front of unsuspecting people is an ok thing to do. I still can't bring myself understanding how someone could think like that, but it's hardly a mental illness.
posted by ikalliom at 5:31 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


His career is effectively over.

Citation required.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:32 PM on November 10 [34 favorites]


Nothing will be learned and nothing will get better.

Well, so far we’ve learned you can’t be a sexual predator in 2017 if you’re in the entertainment industry without maybe some pushback. We’re all just sitting here hoping it crosses over to politics.
posted by valkane at 5:32 PM on November 10 [18 favorites]


Do not romanticize the monsters. This whole LCK thing is a good litmus test for how likely people are to walk the walk vs talk the talk when it comes to shunning predators. LCK is practically revered, and it shows in comments, here, on FB, on twitter. "Oh, he gave the least worst apology of all! Let us redeem him." "Oh, he is tortured! Let us not pile on." Those are just synonyms for "I care more about validating my existing worldview than being a better person."

Do not romanticize the monsters.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:34 PM on November 10 [46 favorites]


If I were a comedian, I would write a gag about the fact that we all went through corporate sexual harassment training back in the day, but that shit only applied to the drones down in the tiny offices.

Evidently, the folks up on mahogany row had a different rule set.

Only it’s not funny, even though it’s true.
posted by valkane at 5:41 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


this was a highly personal shame-abuse cycle,

He didn't understand, and you don't appear to understand either, that he wasn't the only person involved in any of this. It's personal for each and every one of us. He refused to keep his personal parts private, and now they are public. as he desired.

Literally everyone who has ever been shamed or abused by a Louis-type knows that their abuser has a very special brain that gets a very special pleasure out of his actions. Nobody is shocked by the revelation that some men cultivate a visceral loathing for their physical, sexual selves because they like the catharsis of discharging the built-up hatred out of themselves and onto women, literally. that they enjoy the mounting self-hatred every bit as much as they enjoy the sudden turning of that hatred outwards, and the renewal of the next cycle. that they can go through this cycle a couple times a day. We all know it. fuckin Sigmund Freud's cocaine-preserved corpse knows it. go dig him up and mansplain to him if you must to someone, he's a good listener. everybody else knows all about it.

That which raised him up has now undone him.

the physical contortions necessary for this to be true would put those Puppetry of the Penis guys to shame.

Nothing will be learned and nothing will get better.


not if you have anything to say about it. and you do, we all do.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:45 PM on November 10 [62 favorites]


entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups

What kind of bullshit strawman is that? Me, I just want an entertainer to not be a sexual predator. Really all men, thanks. Is that asking too much?
posted by Nelson at 5:54 PM on November 10 [78 favorites]




I can’t conceive of a satisfactory punishment for some of the people here this side of committing public suicide, and even then someone will be groaning that he didn’t suffer for long enough.

What unreasonable people we are to think that people that commit serious crimes should have to do more than publicly apologize for them.

Think of all the people behind bars and targeted by police for things like personal drug possession - does an apology wipe their slate clean? No? Is their crime less serious than sexually violating multiple people? Yes? Then why should the rich, white, male get to say sorry and walk away?

The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic, we go through it alone, and that entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups. Nothing will be learned and nothing will get better.

I think if you're a female comedian, the world is better knowing at a minimum Louis CK can't use his position to masturbate at you anymore. That, to me, is better.
posted by notorious medium at 5:56 PM on November 10 [61 favorites]


From the article I linked above:
The list of actresses who believe their careers were curtailed because they turned down Harvey Weinstein’s advances are endless. And it goes far beyond just that one mogul: Actress Rae Dawn Chong recently told the press that her agency, CAA, didn’t support her when she was harassed by another agency client, Steven Seagal, and felt that speaking up impacted her career.
More on this: Rae Dawn Chong on Why Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is Only ‘Tip of an Ugly Iceberg.’ “My agency had obviously pimped me out to this creep [Seagal],” actress says of her former reps at CAA

CAA is the same company that blacklisted Courtney Love after her warning about Harvey Weinstein.
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on November 10 [23 favorites]


he told jokes that seemed to indicate he "gets it" about the ways men are horrible to women. It's disturbing to get more proof that being able to see, analyze, ridicule, and shame men's bad behavior is insufficient to prevent a man from behaving badly in the same way.

Another way of looking at this is that he sexually assaulted women, and then he made a living by telling jokes about his awful behavior, and creating a TV show in which he got to re-enact his awful behavior -- so he got to display it all publicly as "fiction" with a wink and a nod and narcissistically wallow in self-involved self-loathing about it and charge people money to watch it. Which is the sort of thing psychopaths like to do. Just like Woody Allen making bank on movies about middle-aged men creeping on barely legal women.

So it's no surprise that Louis CK now admits what he did, through a twisted filter of self-justification, just that he hasn't managed to monetize that yet.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:15 PM on November 10 [34 favorites]


I am very conflicted by some of the sentiments expressed in this thread. I can’t conceive of a satisfactory punishment for some of the people here this side of committing public suicide, and even then someone will be groaning that he didn’t suffer for long enough. It may be a highly cathartic to pile on, to see Louis as a synecdoche for the whole rotten socio-sexual-economic-political system, as a partisan of every creep who ever wronged every woman, but the only people Louis CK has to apologize to are the women he wronged, not to you or me. He is exposed for what he is. His career is effectively over. I am, without approving in any way his actions, prepared to believe that this was a highly personal shame-abuse cycle, something that cropped up out of the same dysfunctional oracle of the soul that generated his standup. That which raised him up has now undone him. The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic, we go through it alone, and that entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups. Nothing will be learned and nothing will get better.

This is just full of garbage hyperbole.

There's a whole range of appropriate punishments between embarrassment and death. No one's calling for the death penalty except your straw man.

Also, how the hell do you punish a "whole rotten socio-sexual-economic-political system"? You can't punish a system ffs. Systems are people, my friend. You have to punish the people who do the bad things to change the system.

You also completely whiffed on the moral of the story. Like, badly missed the point.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:24 PM on November 10 [46 favorites]


The last guy who non-consensually masturbated in front of me to completion

Last guy? JFC my gender wonders why women think they're all creeps. No person should ever have to write those words in that order but I'm pretty sure more women than I could ever predict would have reason to write them.


Joining the chorus to say the first time I remember it happening, I was six. It has happened so many times in the subsequent almost half a century, that I couldn't even give an accurate count, but I can tell you that men are the reason I won't leave the house after dark alone any more. Men are the reason I got a concealed carry license for a while. Men are the reason I won't ride public transportation except during peak hours. Men are the reason I rent cars instead of take ubers, and don't call for takeout if I'm alone.

There's a new FPP of How Eddie Berganza rose through the ranks at DC Comics despite accusations of sexual harassment. Men are the reason that I no longer work in the comic industry.

You remember that scene in Heathers where Veronica is at the frat party, and the dude is just so sure she's going to suck his dick? Yeah, I've had that conversation. Ad infinitum.

I put it to you that "more women than I could predict" might be better stated as "Are there any women who have NOT had this happen?" Because I posit that the number is vanishingly small.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:26 PM on November 10 [25 favorites]


Chris Rock Made Sexual Assault Jokes During Recent Stand-Up Set, Said Women ‘Cry Rape’ For Money

Chris Rock attempted to joke about sexual harassment and assault during a recent set at New York City’s famed Comedy Cellar, but the jokes left the audience speechless in the wake of real allegations being made against Hollywood executives, directors, and more. Page Six reports that Rock’s November 2 stand-up gig included jokes in which the comedian said he is no longer hiring women since they “cry rape.”
posted by elsietheeel at 6:39 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


I put it to you that "more women than I could predict" might be better stated as "Are there any women who have NOT had this happen?" Because I posit that the number is vanishingly small.

I haven't, to the best of my recollection, been jerked off at as a hostile gesture. but in all seriousness it is very possible I have, but forgot. when I was younger, if I ever saw a man with his fly unzipped in public I thought Oh, I mustn't let on I noticed, he'd be so embarrassed. I hope my obliviousness was a disappointment to as many men as possible.

I do remember that I was prepped with the classic line to use on a flasher if I ever encountered one (what's that? it looks like a penis, only smaller) while still in grade school. I honestly don't remember if I was told it by my mom, with the accompanying admonition to look bored so the fellow would be robbed of the thrill of surprise, or if i read it somewhere. but I do remember taking it to heart and feeling pleased that I knew the right thing to say in the event. nothing like having a script already in mind to calm the socially anxious child.

in discussions about harassment and assault and the whole idea that women who don't experience every single variety and permutation of male aggression might feel left out somehow, I'm not sure it's ever stressed how much it's not about envy, it's about all this preparation wasted. like being SO READY to be drafted in wartime, and your number never comes up. I was never taught to be vigilant, let alone hyper-vigilant, about my physical safety. thank god. but all the good comeback lines, I had them all in readiness.

and then it turned out that when dudes just grab you with their hands, snappy rejoinders are not satisfying at all! oh, well.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:43 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic, we go through it alone, and that entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups.

The moral of the story is: DON'T BE A GODDAMNED SEXUAL PREDATOR.

That this basic point should have eluded you from your lofty perch of wise detachment and even-handed sympathy should suggest to you that your thinking on the matter has gone badly haywire.
posted by praemunire at 6:45 PM on November 10 [66 favorites]


I am, without approving in any way his actions, prepared to believe that this was a highly personal shame-abuse cycle, something that cropped up out of the same dysfunctional oracle of the soul that generated his standup.

If you don't get by now that the systemic abuse of women is way more than a personal matter, I suspect you never will. Women's careers were destroyed, directly or indirectly, by the abusers and by the environment they created with the help of complicit bystanders. How many women never became directors, actors, comedians, producers, agents because of this? How much has our culture been deprived of when these voices are silenced?

And it's serious bullshit to downplay sexual abuse by comparing it to quirks and sexual hang-ups.
posted by Mavri at 6:52 PM on November 10 [50 favorites]


I know this isn't in any way about me and my cis het white male problems, but the link above about Rae Dawn Chong has just broken my heart. I distinctly remember her as a fresh new star in Quest for Fire, and I looked forward to her becoming a big star - her charisma and talent were so obvious, I really liked her.

And for all my life, not like it was some big focus, but I often thought "what ever became of her, she should have been a huge star?..."

And now this?!? Her career was tanked by Steven fucking Segal, who then continued to harass her for years because she refused to be pimped out?

Burn it all down, seriously fuck this. And time for everybody to tell all the secrets about these fuckers and what they got away with up to now.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:54 PM on November 10 [40 favorites]


octothorpe: Matt Zoller Seitz, the author of that piece, gives the new movie 0.5 star out of four in his review (The half-star is for the cinematography and music). The summary:
I saw it a couple of weeks ago before the Times story broke and the distributor shelved it. My notes consist of a single sentence: "It's like he's rubbing it in our faces."
Well, that is some seriously unfortunate phrasing.
posted by tzikeh at 7:18 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


“All I can tell you is I’ve worked with Louis for 30 years and he’s a wonderful man and person and I’ve never heard anything about this,” Stewart said before Axelrod ended the show.

Jon Stewart Laughed Off Louis C.K. Allegations Last Year
posted by monospace at 7:19 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


> The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic,

You know what's therapeutic? Therapy! When you are someone who recognizes that other people -women, even! - are just as real as you are and it is not their role to serve as non-consenting receptacles for your shame/rage/hatred/self-loathing/whatever the fuck else, you get yourself some therapy so you stop doing that. Grow the fuck up and take responsibility for your own shit.

Shit that includes moaning about how there is no solution to stuff like this. Get over your existential bullshit and stop making excuses for people like LCK.
posted by rtha at 7:22 PM on November 10 [38 favorites]


I haven't, to the best of my recollection, been jerked off at as a hostile gesture. but in all seriousness it is very possible I have, but forgot. when I was younger

Yeah this. I can't think of any specific instances, but I feel like I must have, except it was just so normal I just looked away and sneered in disgust. I WAS sexually assaulted on a public subway when I was 12, though, and it took until last year for me to realize that was the proper term for what had happened to me (Thanks, Donald Trump!)

I mean, as a woman you just get used to filtering out a good amount of sexual hostility from strangers whether it be catcalling or looks or The Grin while a man has his hand in his pocket. Basically I assume I've been the victim of men masturbating in my direction, but I always went to pains not to notice it if at all possible. Don't look up, don't look around, pretend your book is the most interesting thing in the entire world, if all else fails leave ASAP.
posted by threeturtles at 7:26 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


Do you know what the saddest thing today has been? Watching literal scores of women writing long messages of thanks to or on behalf of LCK for reaching the absolute lowest bar of admitting his actions. The women writing these messages without fail say "my rapist/abuser would never in a million years admit what he did publicly. We should acknowledge that Louis has done what many aren't brave enough to and maybe we can finally makes some changes".

It breaks my heart.
posted by everydayanewday at 7:33 PM on November 10 [12 favorites]




FX Has Cut Ties With Louis C.K. After He Admits Sexual Misconduct

Today, FX Networks and FX Productions are ending our association with Louis C.K. We are cancelling the overall deal between FX Productions and his production company, Pig Newton. He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him – Better Things, Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops.

Good. That's one less thing to feel conflicted about when I watch Baskets.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:51 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


His whole faux feminist bullshit and sad clown tearfully raising daughters was always gross to watch knowing what a douche he was.

It was always gross to me even with no such direct knowledge! I never got his appeal really. And I hope that particular brand of narcissistic-sociopathic American male comedy, playing up male awfulness for sympathy under the disguise of self-deprecation, ends with him. There is so much better comedy out there, and even better if this ends up highlighting the work of women who can be so much more inventive and original and honest but have always been struggling so much more to emerge against these egomaniac wankers. Yeah I can dream.

- The moral of the story, if any, is that life is not therapeutic, we go through it alone, and that entertainers would do well to have no quirks, urges, or sexual hang-ups.

Heh, no, darling, the moral of the story is that no matter how well-loved and oh pardon admired and famous and rich and full of himself a male tv or movie star is, he is still required to respect at the very minimum the basic anti-harassment regulations of any other less sexy more boring workplace, not to mention the basic rules of respect for female colleagues as peers and human beings. Minimum.

You can have all the sexual urges and hang-ups you like, but do not inflict them on your colleagues out of the blue in a work context! Why is that so hard to comprehend when a comedian or actor or writer is involved? Oh don’t answer, they’re special aren’t they, they’are artists, they’re geniuses...

What would you think of a CEO of a manufacturing company who considers it so self-evidently ok that he could take out his dick during meetings with female colleagues? And when caught, explaining that he did ask, as if the asking makes it any saner, and going on and on about how admired he was? Wouldn’t you think, what the fuck, how was this guy even allowed to run a company for so long?

There is no reason you should get a special pass on this shit just because you’re in a creative industry with no written corporate code of conduct and HR procedures for reporting harassment in the workplace. In fact, you have even more of an ethical duty to respect your female colleagues, because you are making money selling portrayals of human behaviour for entertainment. The standard of respect should be higher, not lower.

- If I were a comedian, I would write a gag about the fact that we all went through corporate sexual harassment training back in the day, but that shit only applied to the drones down in the tiny offices.

Indeed. Exactly. It’s about time the entertainment industry caught up with the rest of the corporate world at the very least. And lord knows the rest of the corporate world still needs a lot of improvement in practicing what is preached, but it’d be a start...
posted by bitteschoen at 7:52 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


Forget the CEO of a manufacturing company, we already know that the tech industry is rife with buttwipes who would and do take their dicks out around female colleagues, and then use said colleagues’ adverse reactions to “prove” how women aren’t chill and awesome enough to code. And before it was the tech industry, it was every other industry. The movie “North Country” was filmed 12 years ago about this very topic, and that most certainly was specifically about manufacturing.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:16 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


everydayanewday's comment breaks my heart too. I mean is the bar so low that this nonpology is considered exemplary?

There has to be a way forward, but it has to start with the men who are sexual predators.
posted by Nelson at 8:58 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


> And now this?!? Her career was tanked by Steven fucking Segal, who then continued to harass her for years because she refused to be pimped out?

Tanked by Steven Seagal and the agents at CAA, who also tanked Courtney Love's acting career. They're rape culture enforcers.
posted by homunculus at 9:44 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Another one: George Takei

oh COME ON

goddammit

Where we are right now is that before I clicked on the link is that I immediately assumed it was Takei telling a story of his own abuse and now I really wish that was the case. He pulled a straight-up Cosby on that poor kid. Jesus.
posted by schroedinger at 9:52 PM on November 10 [12 favorites]


Another one: George Takei

So 2016 was the year celebrities died....and 2017 is apparently going to take the last 2 months to double down on that. Well shit.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:54 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


You know what's therapeutic? Therapy!

Amen to that a thousand times. I was just going to reference the comments way back about LCK saying he's got issues (ah, duh LCK, YES YOU HAVE ISSUES) and expecting his victims to feel sorry for him, and other women here echoing that experience. It always comes down to our culture expecting women to "understand" (ahem, forgive and forget) men's dysfunctional behavior.

It's not on women to 'understand' these kind of men: it's on these men to get therapy for their issues.

Some time ago, I can't remember where I heard or read it, but it was said that there was a tendency (read: a pattern of socialization) for women to internalize their problems and for men to externalize them. Maybe it's part of the culture of toxic masculinity that precludes having a space for men to just own their goddamn problems already and get help. Women have been encouraged to do it for years; we need to encourage it in men as well.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:15 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


OTOH, there's always the possibility of using 'issues' as a cover for just straight-up abuse of power. So there's that...
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:17 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Some time ago, I can't remember where I heard or read it, but it was said that there was a tendency (read: a pattern of socialization) for women to internalize their problems and for men to externalize them. Maybe it's part of the culture of toxic masculinity that precludes having a space for men to just own their goddamn problems already and get help. Women have been encouraged to do it for years; we need to encourage it in men as well.

I think that's a large part of what the push to recognize emotional labor is. Women have, for a long long long time, been feeling all the feelings for men, so that men don't have to. Men need to start connecting to their own humanity and taking responsibility for their effect on other people individually and the community in general and stop expecting women to manage that aspect of being a responsible human for them.
posted by lazuli at 10:21 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


...I can't un-know what he has done while watching or listening to his creative output. Much of his comedy was about how men are often the worst thing to happen to women, and I found it funny and true. It would be impossible for me to laugh at it now, thinking about all the women comics who watched his sets and probably considered him an ally, never imagining for a second that they'd be standing in a room with him while he dropped his pants.

This.

Before his targets came forward and spoke up in public, Louis was all "I only talk about my work" whenever the topic came up in interviews. But when your work rests entirely on projecting an image of extreme self-awareness, that kind of separation really isn't applicable.

I think the only piece of his that I can see raising even a faint chuckle for me now is the bit about Nixon crying and jumping in a helicopter and flying away. And that's a real loss. I really have enjoyed his work for years, but it does nothing for me any more. It just looks gross and creepy and fake now.

Except perhaps this.
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 PM on November 10


aaand the Quad will not be screening the films at all, even though LCK had nothing to do with their creation.
posted by brujita at 11:14 PM on November 10


I have seen in some of my male friends a response to this story which seems to be built fear of being exposed for Stupid Things They Did Drunk Once at a Party.

Sexual shame is a really weird thing. It turns out that an awful lot of people have done something dumb which they are still ashamed about years later. That shame seems to make them vulnerable to falsely sympathizing with exposed public figures who do things which are criminal or predatory. He/She feels terrible about what he/she did-- so terrible they think everyone else would find it just as awful if they were exposed. Predators hide in the delta of shame and fear of exposure by exploiting the feeling others have that they too could have unknowingly done something which will land them in the news.

Maybe somebody more patient than me needs to make a handbook. Maybe a guy can do it. As a woman, this just feels so *obvious*. idk.

Situation 1:
I hit on a girl at a party when I was 22 and really drunk and threw up on her shoes.
Verdict: totes embarassing!

Situation 2:
I had a pattern of forcibly masturbating in front of less successful colleagues and then gaslighting them when they tried to tell other people what I had done.
Verdict: Predator

Situation 3:
I cheated on my wife ten years ago in a consensual relationship with a colleague in another office which ended amicably. We still send Christmas cards.
Verdict: Go and sin no more!

Situation 4:
I cheated on my wife with multiple babysitters under the age of 16 and told them nobody would believe them if they told on me.
Verdict: Predator

and so on. Not helping this dynamic at all are (sub) cultures which seem to view sexual infidelity as being as bad as or even worse than sexual assault.
posted by frumiousb at 11:40 PM on November 10 [38 favorites]


even though LCK had nothing to do with their creation.

collateral damage
posted by philip-random at 11:48 PM on November 10


George Takei?! Goddammit, I wanted to believe he was one of the good ones. Blech, my heart goes out to his victim.

I’m also quite disappointed in Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari for not immediately dropping Dave Becky. Plus, as someone mentioned upthread, Ansari has at least once refused to discuss allegations against Louis CK, which...ugh.
posted by Ragini at 12:11 AM on November 11 [13 favorites]


Area Man Afraid Some Woman Might Come Out Of The Woodwork To Hold Him Accountable For Something: "I'm honestly starting to get a little freaked out that a woman could, out of nowhere, start demanding that I take responsibility for something that I absolutely did."
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 12:32 AM on November 11 [47 favorites]


You can also add Flash/Supergirl/Arrow producer and showrunner Andrew Kreisberg, Matthew Wiener creator of Mad Men, and Richard Dreyfuss to the Hollywood list and a lot of authors to the broader unveiling, with more than half those working in the book trade reporting abuse. Those are just the more famous names, with many less well known behind the scenes figures also being called out and bumped with less public notice.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:38 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]


Marc Marron turned me off from him forever the first time I listened to his show, where he did an ad for a sex shop, began to introduce his interviewee who was a woman, and then encouraged his listeners to purchase from the store he’d just advertised object they could use to masturbate to said guest.

I remain unimpressed by him.

[Louis’] career is effectively over

I doubt it. Hollywood loves a male redemption story. He’ll go to ground for six months to a year into the loving embrace of misogynists everywhere and wait for the people to apologize for him and attack those saying that what he did was wrong for not being sympathetic to the poor helpless serial sexual predator. Other people will write sympathetic stories about how much he suffered and how he’s grown because of it. His victims will be doxxed, swatted, and harassed endlessly with the attendant social and financial ramifications, and will be spoken about as if they are unreasonable vengeful and unhinged no matter what they say. He’ll be a little more careful about who he targets, perhaps pulling a Weinstein and keeping a list handy with his lawyer so that he can keep his victims more in line, and people who want to buy into his redemption will use this lack of recent victims speaking up as proof that he’s really changed.

Also, fuck George Takei for being the most recent milkshake duck. I really liked him. Drugging your victim is serious serial predator territory, though. Gods help his victims find some semblance of justice and peace.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:51 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


It's not on women to 'understand' these kind of men: it's on these men to get therapy for their issues.

But is therapy really the answer for these dickheads? Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the general purpose of this sentiment, but on the other hand I am also bit bothered by the idea therapy is a cure for being a shitty person and a classic entitled narcissistic male. It’s not.

Therapy is for people who are suffering themselves, they have acknowledged specific mental health issues as a problem for themselves and in their relationships to others, and want to get better, and that combination of acknowledgement of problem and desire to get help and get better has to come from the person, in a genuine way that requires a bit of humility, not because they’re forced to by media revelations they’d been denying up to a few months ago.

This may sound selfish of me to object to this association, but I honestly don’t like the idea of suggesting that straight out predatory self-entitled male narcissism can be "treated" with the kind of therapy that helps so many of us with depression or ocd or eating disorders or mental issues of any other kind.

All these cases of sexual harassment constitute an ethical and cultural and political and economic issue, not a mental health one.

Sure we can say this guy was fucked up, that’s some fucked up inappropriate behaviour for anyone in any workplace, but it’s not the same meaning of the term, not the same kind of fucked up as the average person in therapy who has not harassed anyone or committed any offence of this kind.

This is not someone who struggled with self-harming issues - this is someone who harmed others repeatedly through years without ever questioning his sense of himself as some genius entitled to do whatever he pleased. In fact, still now in his bullshit statement he boasts about his success and his admirers, and felt the need to specify that he did ask. He clearly must have thought that made it fine and dandy for so long. He thrived on his creepiness and enjoyed it and justified it and even turned it up to 11 for comedy purposes, and is only now being forced to say something that is not even an apology.

So nevermind therapy for these entitled creeps, therapy is pretty much pointless for narcissists anyway. They need to pay the practical consequences and finally be ostracized in their line of work, and face up to public humiliation so their narcissism hopefully takes a hit and brings them down back to earth a few notches. But I don’t really care what they do beyond that and how they live with themselves. They seem to have managed to live happily with themselves so far and made a lot of money in the process! If they want to shell out some of their big dollars for a therapist because they think that will make them feel less shitty about themselves, that’s their own prerogative and should not be of any concern to the public - but see, I don’t think guys like this feel that shitty about themselves in the first place... else, they would not have repeated the shitty behaviour for so many years and would have stopped and admitted responsibility earlier and made up for it in concrete, real terms, redressing any professional harm he caused to women instead of denying everything up to only a few months ago.

They feel shitty at being caught out, sure, but there’s no talking to a therapist that can make that go away, and it should not go away. They should feel shitty, they actually did something wrong.

I don’t really care if they even want to become a better person at this stage, conveniently after the fact, after being caught out, but they won’t become a better person through talk therapy anyway - it’s not a replacement for justice, it’s not an antidote to public scorn, it’s not an easy way out of paying the consequences of wrong behaviour.

(Not arguing with anyone here, or saying anyone had implied any of this - just had to get that off my chest after seeing therapy mentioned so often all over in relation to harassment revelations like this.)
posted by bitteschoen at 3:02 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


Blech, my heart goes out to his victim.

Agreed but might as well go ahead and pluralize that sentiment. I mean there's no way that Takei goes directly to roofying a guy without intermediate steps (and victims) in between.

one of the good ones

There are people who have done good things or heroic things, but nobody's intrinsically good or heroic. The sooner that we disillusion ourselves of that as a society, the sooner we can accept that nobody gets a pass, that anyone can do wrong, and if they do, they need to be held accountable to an extent proportionate to their misdeeds, regardless of their talents or saintly reputation.

I mean, part of these guys' magic armor is not just that they are men with power, but that in conjunction with creeping, they've legitimately helped out many people over the years, and the powers-that-be viewed any victims as perhaps unlucky but inevitable collateral damage. Those around them have averted their eyes in the office, at the hotel, at parties, in the same way that we avert our eyes each time there's another gun slaughter. It's the price of freedom, of art, of invention, of success, what's to be done? That's the old paradigm.

But the egregious offensiveness of electing a proud predator to the highest office has shocked us, shaken the status quo, with the threat of a true phase change. Yet it will only become permanent if we follow through by demolishing the existing support structures of rape culture, including the old "speed bump" rehabilitation pattern where predators, after being caught, just pull off to the side for a while, and then gradually ramp back into their former careers, and let's not speak of the past. That has to end. I'm not saying that people can't pay their debt to society and to their victims, and start over from scratch. I'm saying that any credit for their "good" past deeds should be irrevocably revoked. Whatever good they did in the past is permanently tainted, and is no longer good. No taking a hiatus, getting treatment, and returning back to their old spot. They should be fired, their connections severed, their friends unfriended, their earths salted.

Well, that and prison time for these fucks. At the very least it's time to do away with another rape culture support structure: the statute of limitations on sex crimes.
posted by xigxag at 3:16 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


I can’t conceive of a satisfactory punishment [for Louie CK in the eyes of] some of the people here this side of committing public suicide

Other people have made much much more cogent comments about the level and frequency and intentionality of harm caused by sexual abuse, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you meant that he should kill his public persona and return to being a private individual.

But my immediate reading was that you were implying that suicide ever causes net positive effects to anyone except to the one person who is in unbearable pain. And that could directly harm someone here who reads that. So don't do that.
posted by ambrosen at 3:22 AM on November 11 [12 favorites]


After this most bullshit year of increased alternating fragility and bone-deep venomous hate, I have been actively trying to find lemonade in the lemons, because otherwise I'll just be consumed with fury and self-implode.

That more and and more people are now believed and the press is reporting on these sexual abuses that Hollywood knew about and hid for decades...that's the lemonade.

Keep it coming.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:34 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


/r/WeinsteinEffect.
posted by Leon at 3:58 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


John Mulaney tweeted about this yesterday:
“I have immense respect for the women who spoke out about the degrading and disgusting situations that Louis C.K. chose to drag them into...”
And
“Many people, like myself, don’t know what its like to experience sexual abuse. It’s important that we listen and acknowledge our ignorance of what others go through and help things change.”

So at least one comedian is speaking out.
posted by Biblio at 4:25 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. Captain l'escalier, sexual assault isn't standard sexuality, saying "no" to sexual assault isn't sexual repression, and you need to leave this thread alone now.]
posted by taz at 5:04 AM on November 11 [33 favorites]


"It’s very easy and emotionally satisfying to say, “go have a sexual existence somewhere else on your own time, creep!” but I raise the example of the Catholic Church abuse scandals on where the road of sexual repression can lead."

It sounds like you're saying that if men can't sexually harass their co-workers/subordinates in the workplace that they will be unable to negotiate healthy sexual relationships outside the workplace, and could wind up abusing children as a way of venting their sexual urges. Surely that's not what you meant to imply. Because if that's where your thought process goes I don't even know what to say to that.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 5:15 AM on November 11 [21 favorites]


In the interests of keeping this from being a zero-sum game, where women’s “gain” is men’s “loss,” I would ask what a healthy socio-sexual-political-cultural dynamic would look like? It’s very easy and emotionally satisfying to say, “go have a sexual existence somewhere else on your own time, creep!” but I raise the example of the Catholic Church abuse scandals on where the road of sexual repression can lead.

That’s not the road of sexual repression, peculiar to the Catholic Church; it’s the road of unaccountable power, which has led to nightmare within Catholic Church, within other religious institutions with less of a tradition of celibacy, and within secular organisations and institutions not known for any particular focus on celibacy. The BBC, the UK Parliament, schools, hospitals, Hollywood, academia...the common thread is asymmetry of power and weak or absent structures of accountability, not sexual repression.

Now your question seems to be whether we can have accountability, and equality between men and women, without sexual repression for men (that’s what the zero-sum game formulation seems to imply). I don’t see why not? Men, by and large, desire sex, love, intimacy, friendship and various idiosyncratic combinations of those things in various forms; women, by and large, desire sex, love, intimacy, friendship and various idiosyncratic combinations of those things in various forms. In a world involving systemic equality of power, and full accountability where power happens to be unequally distributed in individual cases, men and women could do their best to fulfil their individual desires in negotiation with other individuals who share them. Take this particular case. Somewhere in the world is presumably a woman—or a whole group of women—who might be into the fantasy of some dude masturbating in front of her while both of them pretend the whole thing comes as a shock and a surprise. At present, Louis CK’s systemic privilege and individual lack of moral compass has meant that he hasn’t had to bother with the work of finding these women and openly acknowledging his desires and sorting out a fully consensual encounter to realise them. In a better world, he would have had to do that work. That doesn’t strike me as a “loss”, really, except in the sense that all people with a modicum of conscience lose out on the opportunity to get what they want by hurting others (stealing, murdering, blackmailing etc). If I want some cake, I work for money and then spend the money and buy the cake; I don’t steal the money or kidnap a baker and make her produce the cake for me for free. That’s not a loss, it’s just being a person.

Similarly, it wouldn’t be a loss to men if they could only get their desires fulfilled by doing the work of acknowledging the nature of those desires to themselves and to others and by finding someone who shares those desires. Or rather the moral gain in being a minimally decent person radically outweighs the inconvenience of having to treat other humans like people. The abolition of slavery in the US may have made life more difficult for particular slave owners, who had to start paying people for their labour, but I don’t think that made it a loss for white Americans as a whole; it took away one of the most corrupting and morally destructive roles that their society previously offered them, the role of the slave-owner, and I consider that a net gain. If the role of sexual harrasser, rapist and abuser is permanently made more difficult to access for men as a class, that will similarly be an overall gain for them.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:18 AM on November 11 [37 favorites]


And another one - Neil DeGrasse Tyson, too.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 5:18 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


The recently revived blog, TVTattle, is filtering through and linking to a lot of Louis CK news and analysis lately.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:43 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


A breakdown of everything that’s wrong with some of the reactions to Louis C.K.'s "apology" - Please stop applauding Louis C.K. for doing the bare minimum -
Well, it looks like the Louis C.K. apologists have at least pivoted to a different tactic than simply labeling accusers liars, after the comedian finally admitted to the sexual misconduct he's been disparaging as mere "rumor" for five years (and as recently as two months ago).

Within mere hours of C.K. issuing his statement, the internet fell over itself to commend him for the brave act of finally admitting he is, in fact, a sexual harasser and feels bad about it — now that there's a New York Times story about it, anyway.
[...]

Louis C.K. made one not-totally-god-awful PR move: His statement read: "These stories are true." Promising start. From there, he covers his ass legally by implying a level of consent from his victims by claiming he, "never showed a woman my dick without asking first," then he fails to apologize to his victims even once but has enough time to reference how "admired" and "looked up to" he was — four times — as a weird way of deflecting blame to his celebrity or, to an extent, his victims.

Are we really buying his redemption arc bullshit already? It hasn't even been a day.

If history tells us anything, C.K. will likely pick his career back up once we've forgotten about his victims. You know who doesn't get the luxury of rebuilding their careers? The female comedians Julia Wolov, Dana Min Goodman, and Abby Schachner, who were either ostracized from the comedy community for speaking out or lost the will to keep trying after such demoralizing experiences.
It’s worth reading it in full, the author goes through the statement and the reactions to it in detail, although be warned, some of those reactions are really offputting and idiotic.

If there’s one good thing to come out of this for me (and hopefully for others), especially as I’m outside the US and a bit more familiar with British comedians in general than American ones, is finding out about more US female comedians and looking forward to checking out their work. (In fact it’d be great if anyone who already has a list of recommendations wanted to start a thread for that purpose! Or can point to an existing one... off I go to search)
posted by bitteschoen at 6:34 AM on November 11 [16 favorites]


I am, without approving in any way his actions any evidence at all, prepared to believe that this was a highly personal shame-abuse cycle,

Fixed that for you. Plus the comment earlier that CK had reformed and become a better person. There's absolutely no proof of this, just wishful thinking and the assumption that he wouldn't joke about it otherwise.
posted by harriet vane at 6:37 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


People don't turn into pedophiles because of sexual repression. Pedophiles joined the priesthood because it gave them completely trusted access to hundreds of potential victims. The fact that someone could be mistaken about the cause and effect there is honestly terrifying.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 6:48 AM on November 11 [37 favorites]


In the interests of keeping this from being a zero-sum game, where women’s “gain” is men’s “loss,”

power over women not only is, but should be, a zero-sum game. Women forcibly taking that power back to ourselves requires ripping it away from men. They -- you -- lose control of us so that we might gain control of ourselves. Women owning our own bodies means you can't own them. no, we can't share. you do have to lose something, and we are taking it away from you.

it's a good thing.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:16 AM on November 11 [33 favorites]


[Folks, the comments were deleted so we wouldn't have to have an extended derail over dumb stuff, so let's move on please. ]
posted by taz at 7:20 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


George Takei has denied the allegations
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:35 AM on November 11


Men are not losing anything, and they’re not being sexually repressed, by the expectation that they must get the consent of their sexual partners 100% of the time. That’s how it’s supposed to be, and arguing otherwise is disgusting. Yes, this means you will have to put in the emotional and even actual labor of developing and nurturing a relationship with a specific human being, in order to develop enough intimacy that sex might result.

Men going without sex is not a miscarriage of social justice. Either put in the work required for a sexual relationship or masturbate. That’s your choice. The option to just keep a certain class of women to serve as a sexual outlet—that is the miscarriage of social justice. That’s what we’re fixing. No, men do not get to complain that it’s personally inconvenient for them.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:03 AM on November 11 [53 favorites]


> Women have, for a long long long time, been feeling all the feelings for men, so that men don't have to.

So, pretty much this.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 8:39 AM on November 11


Yo, xigxag, I'm not sure why you called me out. I agree that people who do good things can also do bad things, and their good deeds shouldn't cancel out their offenses? I was just hoping Takei was a person who did not commit this specific offense, my hopes were not borne out by reality, and I am sad and angry at that both for myself and on behalf of his victim. Also, I specifically made the choice to write "victim" because although you may be right that Takei may have assaulted more people, and evidence to that nature may come out, I would prefer not to speculate about currently hypothetical victims. One is plenty to label him a predator.
posted by Ragini at 9:06 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I keep coming back to the many times I saw conversations of CK's work that consisted of women saying, "I don't really think he's funny, he makes me really uncomfortable," and men saying, "That's because you don't understand comedy!" I mean, sure, sometimes I saw interesting conversations about what people liked and disliked about his comedy, but so, so often I witnessed men insisting he was hilarious and everyone should watch, and the woman who was the target of this insistence saying he made her uncomfortable, and the man who was insisting saying that she just didn't get it, he was objectively funny and there was something wrong with her understanding if she didn't see that, etc. At the time it struck me as super-tedious dudes who are insecure about their taste and so insist everyone must share it so they feel validated.

But now I keep circling back to how very many women said that CK's comedy made them uncomfortable, and how almost every man flatly dismissed that. Which, maybe if a woman says something makes her uncomfortable, you should stop trying to make her do that thing? (even if it's just watch comedy) But also, I now think a lot of women were picking up on the creep factor, and maybe it wasn't anything specific, but just that his behavior made our spidey senses tingle, and maybe that's something we should pay a little more attention to, if nearly every member of a certain group is made uncomfortable by something, maybe there's a real problem there that isn't visible but is sending up subtle signals nonetheless that that group is hyperattuned to.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:07 AM on November 11 [55 favorites]


Takei. Jesus, that is not a good look for him to come out with when the dude has got proof that they met at a later time, and that his story has been consistent for years.

It makes me think: when I was young and first learning about the existence of "love potions," they sounded like more of a magic trick than a malevolent assault. You had to be careful about them, but they weren't exactly taken seriously ("Hey, what's in this drink?"), plus so many of them were fakes that for a long time as a kid I thought they were all fakes. A joke. Just part of the whole Leisure Suit Larry setup.

The social-media backlash is like one of those videos where a little kid gets an implant and can hear for the first time. Except instead of manifesting joy at the whole of the world, dudes and their lady-enablers are going into fits of denial and rage.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:31 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Also, as someone who has never been able to "separate the art from the artist" when I've learned that the artist was terrible to women and children, I'm feeling a little validation now. I always thought it was a sign that I was basically unsophisticated, a grudge-holder, common somehow. Maybe not. Maybe it's a sign that the world was wrong, all this time.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:33 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


this (the therapy thing) is getting creepy quickly. the reason therapy isn't the answer isn't because therapists can't or don't treat bad people or because criminals accessing health care spoils it for nice people. of course therapists can and do treat awful people.

the reason it's not the answer is because therapy is practiced in service of a negotiated compromise between what the patient wants for himself and what the therapist wants for him. What the patient's victims want or deserve necessarily plays no part in it. therapy has nothing to do with anything except that I'm sure he's had some.

whether or not therapy would help him fix himself, it doesn't matter except to him alone, because his health and happiness is not very important. the harm he does to other people's health and happiness is important.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:40 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


but I honestly don’t like the idea of suggesting that straight out predatory self-entitled male narcissism can be "treated" with the kind of therapy that helps so many of us with depression or ocd or eating disorders or mental issues of any other kind.

I am far from being an expert on therapy, but I have heard more than once that a sociopath will use it to get better at the sh** they're perpetrating. That is, they learn the language, they gain insight into what does/doesn't work. They become better/worse predators.
posted by philip-random at 9:51 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


when I've learned that the artist was terrible to women

I don't disagree with you but his art was also terrible to women.

to expand, and the following is not related to your specific comment: there are plenty of men I kind of like from a distance whom I would be sad and sorry to learn were predators (like John Mulaney mentioned somewhere above -- what a nice man he seems like!). so I understand the general resentment of what seems like gloating about a shitty comic I never liked, for those who did like him and whose pleasure at his downfall is therefore mixed. but I do not understand my sudden entry into this bizarro world where until we found this out, we ("we") thought he was "one of the good guys" and a nice pro-feminist guy and all that. he's always been misogynist beyond belief even for the comedy world.

we ("we" who read the occasional entertainment news piece, not the rest of us who have good enough taste to barely know who he was, and how I envy them and their good judgment) knew he was an active supporter of rape culture, not merely a passive one like so many sexist slightly less terrible men, no matter whether we knew about the rumors or believed them or not. this was on the air. his interpretation of what he thought he was portraying is on record. the sarah palin bit referenced earlier was on record. he's always been clear about his -- not men's in general, his own -- feelings about women.

there's a lot of preamble in that link but his quotes, his quotes. this isn't about his portrayal of an attempted rapist; I do not imply that portraying misogyny endorses it by definition or that actors should not play bad people, none of that. I don't even imply that portraying a transparently autobiographical character assaulting people implies that you do that in real life. I am not saying that scene proves anything. on its own it could have been anti-assault, even.

but his explanation of it says absolutely everything. with some men, you don't have to wonder or suspect or dread or interrogate, you just have to listen.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:57 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


I keep coming back to the many times I saw conversations of CK's work that consisted of women saying, "I don't really think he's funny, he makes me really uncomfortable," and men saying, "That's because you don't understand comedy!"

- This. I know comedy. I know what's funny. Creepy dudes can be funny when you know it's a bit. Brett Gelman's shtick is based on being sleazy but you can tell that he's not an actual creep. (Although I'm not able to articulate why...content and target of his jokes maybe? Or maybe I'm delusional!) The discomfort felt with Louis comes from when you realize that it's not a bit...that's his true self. And that isn't funny.

- Mulaney is with Dave Becky, so good on him for saying something and double good on him for not being milquetoast about it. He's a favorite of mine and I'm glad he gets to stay that way. There are too many people in the business who still haven't said anything and I'm not going to forget their silence.

- bitteschoen: There are some good recommendations for women comedians in the comments of this thread about Iliza Schlesinger.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:57 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


It's probably useful to agree that no one is expected to be 100% infallible at sniffing out creeps in advance. Very nice people may sometimes find out they unknowingly enjoyed the work of people who were later revealed to be sexual predators. Bully for you if you sensed something from early on, but it doesn't necessarily make people who did not apologists or enablers.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:24 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]




The problem I have with the therapy argument in this thread, aside from the dead-on observations already made about it by so many here, is that I have no evidence he does feel genuinely bad about it, or give a solitary shit about working to 'get better'. He was painting these women as liars as little as 8 weeks ago and only now when his hand is forced does he do this false humility performance. His apology (er, sorry PR statement) has been through his lawyer and publicist/manager and is essentially meaningless if you're looking for his actual, true feelings about his assualts.

I keep coming back to queenofbithynia's comment about how (and if you've had this kind of stuff happen to you'll recognise immediately) the thing that gets the men that masturbate in front of women off is that they're threatened- literally physically threatened, as in have to weigh up the real likelihood that this man is maybe going to rape them? They're having their control ripped away from them, they are being degraded, robbed of all their value as a human in their own right.

Another way of looking at this is that he sexually assaulted women, and then he made a living by telling jokes about his awful behavior, and creating a TV show in which he got to re-enact his awful behavior -- so he got to display it all publicly as "fiction" with a wink and a nod and narcissistically wallow in self-involved self-loathing about it and charge people money to watch it. Which is the sort of thing psychopaths like to do.

This. I see no evidence he feels bad about it. I see him wallowing in it, enjoying it, enjoying taunting his victims by telling large audiences about his behaviour and having them applaud and exclaim his genius and humility. I see him rubbing it in our faces and saying 'Yeah, we're all like this aren't we, underneath it all' and seeming to get a resounding YES back from his fans.

If you think he feels at all bad about this I would question if you're taking his press statement too much at face value, or projecting your own humanity and decency onto someone who isn't going to feel bad, or learn, or realise women are people, and who isn't anything like you at all, actually.
posted by everydayanewday at 10:56 AM on November 11 [22 favorites]


It doesn't make you an apologist or enabler to not sense something that someone else does; however, the line gets a little blurry when you dismiss the person who senses it as not understanding something or just being wrong.

Woman: Louis CK makes me uncomfortable. I don't think he's funny.
Broham: HURF DURF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND COMEDY. WOMEN AREN'T FUNNY!
posted by elsietheeel at 10:59 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


I mean his whole standup routine is that he knows. He knows, and he did it anyway, because he enjoys it. Not once, drunk at a party. Repeatedly, for YEARS. Well into his 30s and beyond. He is smart, he is insightful, he understands how things affect other people. He knows.
posted by everydayanewday at 11:02 AM on November 11 [28 favorites]


Ragini, sorry! I was just using your comment as a jumping off point for my own. I don't actually disagree with anything you wrote there and did not intend to appear as calling you out, but obviously I was inconsiderate and I apologize.

As far as Takei and his subsequent denials, as I said, I very much doubt that what he's accused of doing would be a one-off event with no precursors, and if in fact other accusations come to light, he will regret not dealing honestly with this from the outset. It may unfortunately still be true in the court of public opinion that "the first one's free", as queenofbithynia noted, but the days when the first five or ten accusers could be dismissed as wackos are over, at least in the current climate, thanks in large part to #MeToo.
posted by xigxag at 11:28 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]



It doesn't make you an apologist or enabler to not sense something that someone else does; however, the line gets a little blurry when you dismiss the person who senses it as not understanding something or just being wrong.

Woman: Louis CK makes me uncomfortable. I don't think he's funny.
Broham: HURF DURF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND COMEDY. WOMEN AREN'T FUNNY!


I agree. There are any number of specific circumstances under which a person had some opportunity to catch on sooner as well as any number where people did not. There are people who had heard of the Gawker story about Louis CK who resisted the idea, others who hadn't heard a whit about it, like most of us in the case of DeGrasse-Tyson. It varies. We definitely need to listen both to evidence as it is presented and to people around us, who might be more attuned to these things than we are.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:03 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Paul F. Tompkins (double, triple, and quadrupling down on Louis CK):
On “Happy Days,” a beloved sitcom from my childhood, a running gag was that the cool character Fonzie was unable to say “I’m sorry.” If only he’d figured out “There’s nothing I forgive myself for!”

“Hey, you are standing on my foot.”
“Oh, I do not forgive myself for that.”

https://twitter.com/PFTompkins/status/929126296596221953

https://twitter.com/PFTompkins/status/929126478004084738

Louie’s actions aside, it must be nice to have a manager who’s SO in your corner. Like, if I commit a crime, is my agent gonna cover it up for me? He couldn’t even get me Dodgers playoffs tickets.


Paul Scheer:
Threads like this make Twitter a place I'm happy to be apart of because it opens me up to a POV that isn't my own. https://twitter.com/clementine_ford/status/928797019606413313

It's not kicking someone when they are down when you are acknowledging and supporting those who are finally able to get up.

Stories of the severity of sexism & assault are not competitions to graded or compared. They are just that. Stories of sexism and sexual assault.


Sarah Silverman:
Beautifully written and clear as a bell 4 anyone looking to understand or be mindful or be changed by some solid truths. Not everyone may be aware of these things, but now you can
@lizzwinstead: This is an amazing piece from @anylaurie16 https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/opinion/sunday/louis-ck-harassment.html #NoOneWantsToSeeYourCock #WeWillAsk


Judd Apatow (holy cow his Twitter is super active and on point):
This to me was one of the saddest parts of the Louis CK story in the @nytimes. When you disrespect and sexually harass young, vulnerable people you become a dream killer.
""Ms. Schachner accepted his apology and told him she forgave him. But the original interaction left her deeply dispirited, she said, and discouraged her from pursing comedy.""


W. Kamau Bell (❤︎):
All men need to do better. Some men just need to do more better than others. But all men can do better. We can stop encouraging bullshit. We can stop "laughing" at "jokes" we suspect are admissions of guilt. We can start snitchin. We can respect boundaries. We can believe women.

Conan O'Brien:
I'm ready for the all-female reboot of America.

Stephen Colbert:
Louis CK’s apology leaves a lot to be desired. For example, I “desire” a time machine so I can go back and tell him not to masturbate in front of those women.

Colton Dunn:
Much love and support to @DanaAndJulia.

If someone wants you to masterbate in front of them, THEY will ask YOU. Not the other way around.


Andy Daly:
@DanaAndJulia are hilarious and brave.

Matt Braunger:
Guys, the Dana & Julia thing happened. Louis needs help. And if you jack off in front of unwilling women or think D&S did this for publicity, so do you.

D&S were always hilariously gross and sexual, more so than most guys. We’ve known each other since Chicago. When I heard about Aspen, I figured he walked in blasted drunk and thought he was being funny (cont)...

...with his dick out (not an excuse). But now hearing the details (gross invite, etc), the other women coming forward, it’s obvious dude has a problem and caused real damage. I don’t want it to be true, like most of us, but come on.


Kurt Braunohler:
The main thing that strikes me is that there’s tons of people who would love to watch Louis CK jerk offf. To force it on people against their will is the fucked up part.

We could even start a Facebook group “People Interested In Watching Louis CK Jerk Off”. They could have meet ups and everything. Real clear and simple.

My POINT is that this is not a case of “jerking off in the wrong place” which is SURELY how a bunch of dudes will see it. For everyone who’s coming at me for this “take” my point is this is predation. I hate twitter.

posted by elsietheeel at 12:04 PM on November 11 [24 favorites]


Those were the honorable mentions. Here are the disappointments. (I also have a list of those who have retweeted stuff, are silent, or have gone AWOL, but I don't want to choke the thread.)

JB Smoove:
http://live105.cbslocal.com/2017/11/10/jb-smoove-gives-thoughts-on-louis-ck-allegations/

Neal Brennan:
FULL DISCLOSURE: For the last several years, I've trapped porn videos in my bedroom and masturbated in front of them.

FACT: If we're on the phone and it sounds like I'm masturbating, know that in actuality I am vigorously tossing my custom kale salad from @sweetgreen.

Emmy Category for "Best Shock" over Louie stuff.


Kyle Kinane:
I didn’t write a think piece about Louis CK in the last 36 hours and I feel like I might not graduate from comedy college now.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:30 PM on November 11


- I agree, the same kind of therapy wouldn't be effective. How about electro-shock, instead?

*sighs*
Suuuuure, that was exactly the point, well done... Oh hang on, no, this was sort of the point, in a nutshell, as queenofbithynia put it more succintly above: whether or not therapy would help him fix himself, it doesn't matter except to him alone.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:50 PM on November 11


But is therapy really the answer for these dickheads?

I’m pulling this out to address it solely. Individual and couples therapy for predators and abusers is contra-indicated because it tends to either reinforce the predation/abuse or teach language to assist in concealing the predation/abuse. Group therapy with other men in similar circumstances and male leaders who will call them on their shit is the closest to a possible treatment. This alongside major loss of rights and privileges appears to be the only way for a person to actually change, and even then it’s dicey. People sympathizing with predators and excusing their predation is so common and widespread that many predators can easily ignore the feedback that what they are doing is wrong and impedes consequences which will give them the motivation to alter fundamental aspects of their personality and daily actions.

That kind of change is hard. People usually have to be in intense suffering before they will engage with it. Our culture is bend to succor and support predatory men in particular, which releases them from suffering.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:59 PM on November 11 [32 favorites]


I didn’t write a think piece about Louis CK in the last 36 hours and I feel like I might not graduate from comedy college now.

I do wonder how many of the men writing think pieces and condemnatory tweets have something of their own to hide, and are hoping to soften or avoid the blow when it comes. "See, I'm a good feminist, I learned from my mistakes, I'm not a bad person!" If I were in the whisper network and knew which of them are hypocrites peddling loads of crap, I might have a "look at all this bullshit" reaction myself.
posted by clawsoon at 1:00 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but that strikes me as a really limited view of the potential benefits of therapy. Therapy shouldn't be seen as being in lieu of appropriate punishment, but punishment without rehabilitation serves society poorly. To the extent people like Louis CK can find help and change their destructive behaviors it betters the world for all of us as they are less likely to abuse others.

That's the point of rehabilitation and therapy. It certainly isn't going to work in all cases or for everyone, but that doesn't mean it lacks any benefit. If Louis CK's compulsive behavior can be improved by therapeutic means, then we should welcome that improvement, even as that doesn't therefore necessitate us to "welcome" Louis CK as a celebrity, figure of influence, or as someone we'd want to associate with personally. If therapy can't help him, then we lose nothing as long as it isn't used as a societal excuse to avoid more appropriate restraints.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:05 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Oops, didn't see Deoridhe's response ahead of mine. I was responding to the general comments above that one.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:08 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted; skip the kill-him-ha-ha stuff. ]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:29 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Still waiting to see what happens to Dave Becky.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:24 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


If Louis CK's compulsive behavior

Let me stop you here, and ask a very simple question - what makes you think his behavior is compulsive? And if your answer is "well, what else are you going to call it when someone whips it out for a wank in front of people?", I'm going to ask that you read this thread, and all the discussion therein about how men have used masturbation in front of an unwilling audience as a power trip, completely knowingly and in control. Furthermore, as was pointed out earlier, the fact that he was able to cover this up for years shows that he knew quite well about who he could - and more importantly, couldn't - wank in front of, which is a pretty clear sign that whatever this behavior was, it wasn't "compulsive".
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:26 PM on November 11 [44 favorites]


Yeah, like, he was compelled just enough to involve female acquaintances he had influence over in his sexual fetish during happenstance encounters, but not quite compelled enough to go on a fetish web site or otherwise search for sexual partners who might actually want to watch him masturbate? Even the finding-people-on-a-website game he wouldn't have been playing on normal-person difficulty settings—how hard is it, even, for a celebrity to find someone who wants to have sex with them the way they want it?
posted by XMLicious at 2:57 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


how hard is it, even, for a celebrity to find someone who wants to have sex with them the way they want it?

Because the other person not wanting it is part of the allure.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:06 PM on November 11 [24 favorites]


Rebel Wilson opens up about her experiences with sexual harassment

As far the "star" she's speaking of, there's this in the comments from an interview from when she filmed a movie with Sacha Baron Cohen:

"I figured that was a pretty big assumption so I did a search and, lo, in a 2014 radio interview:

“On the last day I thought I’d obviously won the argument and he got a body double to do the naked scene. Then in the last scene ... he was like, ‘Rebel can you just stick your finger up my butt?’ And I went, ‘What do you mean Sacha? That’s not in the script.’ And he’s like, ‘Look, I’ll just pull down my pants, you just stick your finger up my butt, it’ll be a really funny bit.’ “

She refused but agreed for a compromise. “You don’t wanna be a diva,” she explained before adding, “so I ... said I’ll slap you once on the butt and that’s it.””

posted by primalux at 3:28 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


To put a little clarification out there, I went and did some research just now: Louis CK has spoken about being in therapy and also talking to his therapist about his compulsive behavior (both directly related to sex and other things like overeating and spending too much money). I found a clip online (not linking to it, if you want to watch it's called "Louis CK and Anxiety") where he speaks about both and also since XMLicious mentioned it above, in the same clip he also speaks about visiting a "peep show booth" to relieve himself.
posted by FJT at 3:31 PM on November 11


Let me stop you here, and ask a very simple question - what makes you think his behavior is compulsive?

Feel free to disagree with my use of the term, I have no personal knowledge of whatever Louis CK's deal is and wasn't speaking from a position of expertise in diagnosis, just as someone who read about the incidents described and their history from prior to his fame.

The methods he engaged in certainly weren't compulsive in the sense of not being in control over when and how he engaged in his actions in abusing the women making the complaints. "Compulsive" was used to describe his seeming obsession with masturbation as his form of release even in more "normal", meaning unpleasant but accepted, circumstances without the same harm to unwilling participants involved. My use may indeed be in error, but that was the offhand process of thought in its selection. The important point wasn't the term, but the potential value of therapy and any like medical treatment.

Louis CK will in all likelihood be a part of the society we share even if charges are pressed and the legal cases seen through satisfactorily. This differs from Weinstein's circumstance, for example, since satisfactory legal action will see him behind bars for the rest of his life. As far as I know that isn't a real possibility for Louis CK so any option that betters his chances of not repeating his actions is a preferred one as long as it aids in preventing further harm.
posted by gusottertrout at 3:31 PM on November 11


I am curious about one point that has been brought forward a few times in this thread: that of criminal prosecution. In the context of social justice, LCK has admitted to being an absolute creep who wielded his power and authority over young women, and will have to face the consequences. How does this behavior/confession translate in a court of law? And if not, should the law be amended?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:43 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I think about this a lot, particularly in the vein of my most egregious rapist. What does justice actually look like here? I've come the real boring conclusion that I would most like for him to just straight-up apologize to me and promise not to do it again. (And maybe have everyone know what he did so he won't do it again if he hasn't already.) I don't know if this is the right conclusion, but I also think the jailing people thing is not a thing that ever actually works. May have forgone my Puritan roots too much and believe a lot in mediation/remediation, but penitentiaries are a dumb idea that got way far outta control. This does not even begin to address how racist the justice system/the US/the world are. Eh, this is a hard time for overthinkers who have been assaulted a lot and probably everyone else that generally tries to make things around them better.
posted by lauranesson at 3:59 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


If it was compulsive, LCK would have done it to people who could ruin his career. Weirdly, he stuck with people who couldn't speak up and if they tried their careers were cooled.

I tried to ask my first, and worst to me, rapist to just acknowledge to me what he had done. He asked others to be forgiven. He wanted to join our family again. I was at long last the one with control in the situation (but I also realize it was another way for me to shoulder what he'd done instead of the adults protecting me). He acknowledged what he'd done obliquely to our mom, he spoke to his now husband about it in more detail than I expected, he admitted at least some parts of it in church court. So I felt somewhat secure that he'd take the steps he needed to get what he wanted. I wrote him and I detailed what I felt his abuse had brought into my life. I asked him to hear me and to own up to what he had done. Then it all came apart. His partner threatened mine and my mother's life, we were reminded what sort of power his partner's father held and...that was it. I don't know what the solution is, but I know most abusers aren't actually looking for absolution or rehabilitation. I am also opposed to the prison system, but am leaning further and further towards vigilantism because justice has been so lackadaisical at getting to victims of sexual assault. It's a bad place to be, I know that. But I am also just clean out of ideas.

I am far more concerned with getting victims the theraputical and logistical help they need than working out if therapy can cure serial abusers.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:15 PM on November 11 [22 favorites]


Like, it should not be a thing that a ton of women I know are talking out with other women the abuse that men have done them. That just seems silly on the face of it, but it is happening, because the (smart, wonderful, generous) women I know don't trust a male therapist not to fucking rape them.
posted by lauranesson at 4:21 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


I won't see a male therapist or gynecologist, because those are situations where I am too vulnerable.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:38 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


I am far more concerned with getting victims the theraputical and logistical help they need than working out if therapy can cure serial abusers.

I agree, but it shouldn't be an either/or situation. Both things can and should happen to help those who've been abused and to aid in preventing further abuse as much as possible. I wasn't trying to minimize the past offenses or ignore the victims as that wasn't being questioned, I was just suggesting that benefits can also come from trying to avoid future recurrence of harmful actions as well.
posted by gusottertrout at 4:47 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


If people want to talk about how to rehabilitate abusers I wish they'd make a thread for that purpose. However to do it alongside a story about an abuser - many abusers - who haven't actually shown remorse? Among stories from survivors about abusers who have never shown remorse? It's crass.

Maybe it's not an either/or, but most people who talk about how rehabilitation needs to be discussed right now have never shaved off all of their body hair because they could still feel their rapists on them.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:58 PM on November 11 [16 favorites]


[As LobsterMitten already asked, please stop with the death-revenge fantasies, or I am forced to delete your otherwise-on-topic comment. Schadenfrau, I know this is a very emotional topic for you, but please dial back your rhetoric when you find yourself reaching for descriptions of death, out of respect for other commenters and for the mods.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:10 PM on November 11


SorryWatch: A roundup of GOOD celebrity apologies!
Look, I’m feeling kinda demoralized by people thinking Louis CK apologized well, what with him not actually saying he was sorry. (As we note repeatedly here, REGRET IS NOT APOLOGY, chant it with me.) I may tackle his statement tomorrow, or not. SorryWatch just did a close-reading of Spacey’s AND Weinstein’s statements, so we’re feeling kind of skanky-duded-out.
posted by Lexica at 8:03 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


Funny how none of those good apologies are to women specifically (unless I'm missing something?).
posted by ferret branca at 8:22 PM on November 11


"SorryWatch: A roundup of GOOD celebrity apologies!"

What a fascinating blog, someone should FPP that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:30 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Funny how none of those good apologies are to women specifically (unless I'm missing something?).
Klosterman's is, and it's a *really* good one: http://www.sorrywatch.com/2013/11/18/yay-a-good-apology/
posted by nnethercote at 1:34 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Came to post gay comic Guy Branum's piece at Vulture about the boys club table at the Comedy Cellar, was glad to see mhum had beaten me to it. It's worth a read:

At the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, there’s a table where the comics sit. It’s where they joke, debate, goof off, and ridicule their friends. As depicted on the FX series Louie, it’s the most fun place to be with the smartest, coolest comics in America. Every club has one, but the Comedy Cellar is the best club, and the table Louis C.K. sat at was the best table, occupied by the likes of Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Marc Maron. That table is the most important force in comedy. There are rarely women at that table. There are never gay men or trans people...

We understand that if we question the rules of the table, if we say there aren’t enough women getting stage time, or that maybe they shouldn’t use that word, or even just that Kesha is more talented than Springsteen, we’ll be expelled.

Louis, of course, sexually harassed numerous comics. He was not expelled. When managers, club owners, and comics became aware that he was assaulting comics, they did not say, “Hey, let’s figure out what’s going on,” or “He might be a threat to the other comics.” They protected him. They made the problem go away...

That’s because Louis’s behavior didn’t hurt the system. It maintained the system. It alienated women from careers in comedy and allowed everyone to continue to live in a world where they could believe that the table, the Official Council of American Funny, was a place only straight men were worthy of reaching. Louis C.K. once said during a Daily Show appearance, “Comedians and feminists … are natural enemies.” The table doesn’t have any space for comedians who are feminists.

posted by mediareport at 4:05 AM on November 12 [34 favorites]


Not sure this has been posted already - Megan Koester on Vice Magazine: I Tried to Break the Louis C.K. Story and It Nearly Killed My Career
Three weeks ago, I published an article about my experience trying to report on the Louis C.K. allegations at the largest comedy festival in the world. In the piece, I explained how the COO of the Just for Laughs festival yelled at me for asking comedians whether they'd heard about the rumors of sexual misconduct that had been swirling around C.K.
It is a depressing detailed insight into how the silencing works.
...Christ knows I've heard about other men more famous than Louis C.K. who have done even worse things than what he's admitted to doing. And Christ knows I know other people who have heard and said nothing for fear of jeopardizing their professional relationships.

I don’t know how it’s possible to be friends with a woman who has been assaulted by someone and do nothing to assist her because you don’t want to fuck up your development deal. Narcissistic people, which the entertainment industry has in spades, are only woke when it’s politically convenient. Related: The next time I see a pseudo ally who remained silent about C.K. make some sort of grand declaration of wokeness online, I will throw them into a volcano.

The New York Times has now reported on the story, and Louis C.K. has confirmed the story. I derive little pleasure from this vindication, which is odd as I am, generally speaking, nothing if not petty.

Now that it's out in the open, rather than vindication I feel disdain for the fact that people only started giving a shit about decades of allegations once women's victimhood started trending. While I appreciate the fact that things are changing, I fear for the longevity of it.
posted by bitteschoen at 6:20 AM on November 12 [30 favorites]


I was just thinking yesterday about how Brett "I jacked myself off with one hand while holding shrimp cocktail in the other and then posted pics of shrimp on my Instagram feed while lying about fucking the woman I forced to watch" Ratner seems to have mostly avoided ongoing consequences. I hope the news that Gal Gadot just told Warner Bros she won't return for a Wonder Woman sequel if Ratner's company has *any* financial connection is true. Because that fucker needs to be shunned just as much as the rest, and it would be truly poetic justice if Warner failing to sign Gadot to a multi-picture deal at the start is turned against them like this.
posted by mediareport at 6:38 AM on November 12 [32 favorites]


[To be more clear, Warner signed Gadot to a 3-pic deal - Batman v. Supes, Justice League and one Wonder Woman movie.]
posted by mediareport at 6:55 AM on November 12


Pamela Adlon responds with a short statement.
posted by harriet vane at 7:09 AM on November 12


A couple days before the NYT story dropped Pamela Adlon had very different things to say.

There is a small possibility that he gaslit her over all of this and she found out it was true with the rest of us, but that would still involve her not believing scores of women he either harmed or knew what he'd done. By the time Tig was speaking out though...it's hard to fathom why she was so sure gushing about him to the press was a good idea.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 7:23 AM on November 12 [12 favorites]


I was waiting to see what she would say, considering this was no secret. Her statement reads:

Hi. I’m here. I have to say something. It’s so important.

My family and I are devastated and in shock after the admission of abhorrent behavior by my friend and partner, Louis C.K. I feel deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward. I am asking for privacy at this time for myself and my family. I am processing and grieving and hope to say more as soon as I am able.


I am really trying to be charitable about this but, what she has to say is SO IMPORTANT? She's devastated and in shock?! Everyone knew this was happening.

She should have processed and grieved a million years ago and distanced herself from this predatory piece of shit. This lame attempt to be empathetic while it was no secret he was a predator is SUCH crap. Further, she refers to herself seven times. Glad to see she's making it all about her and her feelings.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 7:28 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Therapy shouldn't be seen as being in lieu of appropriate punishment, but punishment without rehabilitation serves society poorly. To the extent people like Louis CK can find help and change their destructive behaviors it betters the world for all of us as they are less likely to abuse others.

That's the point of rehabilitation and therapy.


I appreciate the intent of what you’re saying, but regardless of any specific discussion on the benefits of therapy, the point is that this is a public matter, not an individual one, and it’s a cultural matter, not a psychological one. Besides, this isn’t a case that even reached the courts, so the idea of rehabilitation and any form of therapy as part of that is even less relevant. What matters most here is the public revelations and the public response to them.

Therapy happens at individual level, it’s private by nature. It’s got nothing to do with how you deal with sexual harassment at social level, especially when it involves high-profile people in any industry. Those cases need a strong public response, that’s how you at least try to make it less likely for sexual harassment to happen in any workplace -- public revelations breaking the silence, public denunciation by colleagues, public apologies by anyone who covered this up, public amends wherever possible, public debate and commentary encouraging more people to come out and report similar cases.

That’s how we’ve moved on from a past where sexual harassment was not even a concept in social and cultural terms, nevermind legally. For all the work that still needs to be done, for all the ugly news coming out, let’s not forget the progress that’s happened over the last decades.

Any psychological problems underlying or overlapping with sexual harassment are a matter for that individual - there are plenty of people (women too!) with sexual compulsions who still manage to respect the laws and their colleagues! There are people with genuine compulsions of a FAR worse kind who still do not end up as sexual offenders! Clearly this cannot be reduced to a psychological issue.

What really betters the world for all of us and makes it less likely for men like these to abuse others is public accountability, all-round. For the culprit, for his enablers, for the whole culture and power structure enabling him and others like him, for the system of silence and acquiescence that let this go on unreported for so long. Those are ALL parts of what is a cultural, political, economic issue, not a psychological one. And the way a society responds to cases like this affects so many other levels of public life.
posted by bitteschoen at 7:33 AM on November 12 [16 favorites]


these men have no idea how angry we are, do they?

I'm being told my FB posts are "angry" and my tone is "angry" and "rude" all day every day I post about sexual assault, harassment and toxic masculinity. But that's used to dismiss what I'm saying.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 7:48 AM on November 12 [16 favorites]


While I appreciate the fact that things are changing, I fear for the longevity of it.

She's got a point. Here's how I think this cultural moment is going to end. One of the allegations against a high-powered man is going to be shown to be false. To be clear, I'm not talking about any particular actual person, and probably not even someone who has come forward yet. But someone -- maybe out of political motivation, false-flag trollery, an extortion attempt, a delusional disorder -- someone will make a statement that can be shown to be false. And then it's show's over, folks, everyone go back to your houses. The wagons will circle again, and the careers of at least some of these people will be allowed to heal. And it will be as bad as it ever was. But for today, at least, it isn't, quite.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:01 AM on November 12 [23 favorites]


On a closed message board I'm on the cries of strident and purity test and "selective puritanism" are being thrown around, followed by "we should all just forgive each other!" All I can manage to that is basically, "are you high??" They act like we don't remember what they said about Louis or any other abuser before two weeks ago, like we haven't been slowly and patiently explaining for months, years, decades, a millennia about the world we live in - or they just thought there would never be a reckoning (on preview, I do agree with Countess Elena about how this one will end). Just wait until they see one with actual punishments and holding abusers to account.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 8:04 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


I saw this ad coming out of the subway yesterday and it stopped me in my tracks. (Sorry, Instagram pic, haven't been able to find the ad elsewhere online.) Louis CK aside, that ad is quite an illustration of the comedy boys club. All the men making statements about CK now knew, at the least, that their industry is hostile to women. Conan tweets about an all-female reboot of society but doesn't hire women writers. They could look at a poster, a line-up like this and nothing see nothing wrong.
posted by Mavri at 8:08 AM on November 12 [14 favorites]


Ugh, now I'm remembering the time I was on a nearly-empty N train and realized a guy sitting in the middle of the car was masturbating with an extremely uncomfortable looking woman sitting catty-corner from him. I don't know if he didn't see me (a man) sitting towards the end of the car or what.

I've been taking public transit my entire life, but for whatever reason this happened to me twice in one week about seven years ago on the blue line in Chicago. Both times it was about about 6:30am, and I was on my way to work much earlier than normal. Both times I started in my neighborhood with 7-10 people on my car, and then it dwindled as we went west until I was alone in the car with just one other passenger. And both times I looked up from my book and realized that other person was masturbating.

And neither time were they in anyway trying to be subtle or conceal what they were doing. Both times I completely froze, terrified. I'd been violently assaulted in my neighborhood three years earlier. It took that entire time for me to return to what was my 'new normal'. Now there was a person with their pants around their ankles masturbating not ten nor fifteen feet away from me, respectively, and they were, in both cases looking right at me. This on a stretch of the Blue line going west from the city where there is as much as 4-8 minutes between stops.

Both times I eyed the button you can push to get the conductors attention. But would that anger this person? Would that make them get up and attack me? I sat there and planned how I would jump out the door the second it opened, but not before for fear or upsetting this person/these people. In one of the instances, I would have to go right past the guy to get out the door, otherwise I'd have to go back down the aisle to the other exit with my back to him. But the idea of him behind me, possibly coming after me was worse than the idea of flying right past him.

I had to sit there. Not looking anywhere. Not moving. And I DIDN'T want this. I didn't want to be a part of this situation. I didn't want to be a part of someone's public sexual act. A person who was clearly fucked up enough to do such a thing, so what else were they capable of? I didn't want to witness this. I didn't want to have to remember this.

I couldn't move out of fear that somehow changing the dynamic would make him ejaculate. Would he ejaculate on me when the time came? Was he going to get up and ejaculate on me? Was he going to get up and push against me? Was he going to get up and violently attack me? Did he sense my fear? Did he sense my disgust? Did my fear offend him? Was I going to actually throw up? And worst, worst, worst of all: was he going to rape me?
posted by marimeko at 8:18 AM on November 12 [24 favorites]


Reading up about Rebel Wilson -- she was extremely brave to do this knowing, as she must have known, the kind of things people are saying in comments sections right this moment. Which is, to paraphrase it politely, that no one could possibly want to sexually harass or assault her. Once again, I see confirmed what I said before: harassment is not about being conventionally attractive, it's about being visibly female. This not-exactly-named star wanted to feel pleasure in a female star's humiliation, so he did what he did. The motivation is exactly the same, from a swank Hollywood hotel room party all the way down to Mister Sweatpants on your local bus.

Speaking of which, I've been trying to remember something I saw on the web a thousand years ago, probably at SomethingAwful. Somebody went on an expedition into some forums for exhibitionists and brought back shots of their posts. I still remember some dude's bitterness and anger that some "bitch" had alerted the authorities and interrupted his peaceful masturbation in the back of the bus. The sheer entitlement of the man, the idea that he was owed this. Owed women's presence.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:19 AM on November 12 [20 favorites]


While I appreciate the fact that things are changing, I fear for the longevity of it.

Another problem is that what's happening now doesn't generalise. Accusations against notable media figures and tech company CEOs are newsworthy, which is a large part of what enables the public accountability. Accusations against Jim from accounting, not so much.
posted by Dysk at 8:48 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]




Okay, I don't want to start a twitter argument with women who are acting in solidarity, but I just want to talk about something real quick. There's a trending hashtag, #MeAt14, started with the best of intentions. Women started it with sharing pictures of themselves looking awkward and very much like kids, and talking about how innocent they were. And that's great. It's important to realize that 14-year-old girls are still kids. But when I was fourteen? I was jailbait. At least, I wanted to be. All I could think of all day was the next phone call and/or woodland makeout opportunity with my faraway older boy. I listened to Fontanelle and got super into Rocky Horror and made terrible edgy art with lipstick and cut-up Hallmark cards. I could pass for 21 in makeup, even with braces.

And I was still a kid. None of that was anything but a veneer over a insecure girl who wanted very badly to please. Thirty-year-olds were on the same distant planet with fifty-year-olds. My older boy was at least a teenager. I was too shy about having sex to even form the words "I might get pregnant if we do this thing." Thank God nothing terrible came of that.

Anyway, my point is, no minor needs to act childlike in order to incur moral obligations towards minors in older persons. That is: no young person is actually "asking for it," even when they try to. That's my comment. I didn't wanna go to Medium about it. I just needed to share.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:23 AM on November 12 [56 favorites]


If we want any of this to have any staying power, it has to cost money to look the other way, or to choose not to believe women. Make men who behave like this such a liability that they become unemployable.

Sounds like a job for state legislatures.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:59 AM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Late to the game former fan here. I mostly agree with the people who say there was absolutely nothing he could have said in a statement that wouldn't get ripped to shreds because a mere statement is woefully inadequate to address behavior this reprehensible. Forgiveness, to the extent it is on offer, will not come from how eloquently he tries to convince us he is remorseful. No fucking shit he's remorseful NOW. Forgiveness, to the extent that is available, should come from how he conducts himself from here on out, and it's pretty clear that should include a permanent and voluntary ban from public life. He has proven that fame and artistic success are not things he can handle responsibly and he owes it to the people in those communities where he found his victims not to expose them to the inherent risks of associating with him.

If he does go back to comedy/film/television at any point in his life then that will reveal his apology to be the self-serving (dare I say "masturbatory") sham that many here suspect it to be. He says he's going away for a while. If a while=forever then i will believe he understands the gravity of what he did. Otherwise he's just another in the long line of chumps who are only sorry because they got caught.
posted by East14thTaco at 12:03 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


If we want any of this to have any staying power, it has to cost money to look the other way, or to choose not to believe women. Make men who behave like this such a liability that they become unemployable.

Sounds like a job for state legislatures.


These revelations have only just begun spreading through Hollywood. The next big wave will probably involve more politicians. Musicians. Business executives. Athletes. Educators. The dominoes will continue to fall. (What about older/dead celebrities enshrined with accolades or monuments; will they require the same tear-down as Confederate statues?)

Anything missing in this progression? Yes. The non-celebrities. I'm sure we're all aware of someone we grew up with who got away with serial aggressions. But they're not famous, right?

Well here's the logical next step: Peeple (mefi previously) Yelp for people; call-out culture for the masses. I mean, this is the only thing that can be done about all this, right? (I'm dead serious here: invest in social app futures.)

These deplorables deserve their comeuppance, no doubt about it. But how do we go about navigating and democratizing a system of second-hand labels? Well, we start with the obvious ones: sexual aggressors and pedophiles. But what comes next? Adulterers, tax cheats, general prickliness? China already presents a dystopian vision with Sesame credits. I fear we are headed in a similar direction.

Who's gonna be at the helm? Governments? Private Silicon Valley corporations (we see the dumpster fire that is Twitter)? I'm merely speculating/spitballing here, but, however noble and well-intentioned, these are very real ramifications we as society need to consider.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:03 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Speaking of angry women, Uma Thurman's recent response to a question about Weinstein is worth watching.
posted by nnethercote at 12:17 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


Well here's the logical next step: Peeple (mefi previously) Yelp for people; call-out culture for the masses. I mean, this is the only thing that can be done about all this, right? (I'm dead serious here: invest in social app futures.)

*shudder*
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:23 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


I'm very disheartened by the number of people in the circles I travel in who are jumping to the defense of Takei and/or Tyson (including blaming the Takei accusation on Russian trolls and/or Breitbart). I was upset and disappointed, too, but I choose to stand with their victims.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:48 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]




Not a band I've heard of or listen to, but it turns out Jesse Lacey of the band Brand New solicited nudes from minors.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:55 PM on November 12


Well here's the logical next step: Peeple (mefi previously) Yelp for people; call-out culture for the masses. I mean, this is the only thing that can be done about all this, right?

There's an episode of Black Mirror about this idea. It doesn't end well.
posted by nnethercote at 2:01 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Here is Takei on Howard Stern a couple weeks ago discussing Weinstein. Stern asks him point-blank about his own past, and after a long pause, Takei acknowledges that initiating some form of sexual contact can help "persuade" the more bashful.

He basically set himself up.

It is, however, a disconcerting coincidence that his name came up alluding to impropriety echoing his exact words. True or not, it was ripe for the picking. His words alone should try him. However, would it fall right into the Russian (gaslighting) playbook to push these allegations? This, I think, is worth consideration when establishing a "victim is always right" one-size-fits-all glove -- the ability for FAKE NEWS to be pushed by trolls is incredibly easy. Conveniently, a gay man who has vocally expressed his own hypocrisy -- a useful idiot, if you will.

How can we stay both vigilant, and yet still critical?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 2:30 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


Well here's the logical next step: Peeple (mefi previously) Yelp for people; call-out culture for the masses. I mean, this is the only thing that can be done about all this, right?

If “all this” means the systemic harrassment and abuse of women, social media shamings are in no way the whole solution and are in real ways part of the problem. (Gamergate.) My preferred solution is working to make sure that far more women have a lot more real-world power—in politics, in industry, in religious communities—and then letting real-world structures of accountability (decisions to hire and fire, lawsuits, criminal prosecutions) do the work. Those systems will protect women more effectively when women aren’t a minority among the people in charge of operating them.
posted by Aravis76 at 2:33 PM on November 12 [19 favorites]


I thought it was a requirement for Howard Stern's guests to admit to something assholish if not illegal at least once per appearance...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:59 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


If “all this” means the systemic harrassment and abuse of women, social media shamings are in no way the whole solution and are in real ways part of the problem. (Gamergate.) My preferred solution is working to make sure that far more women have a lot more real-world power—in politics, in industry, in religious communities—and then letting real-world structures of accountability (decisions to hire and fire, lawsuits, criminal prosecutions) do the work. Those systems will protect women more effectively when women aren’t a minority among the people in charge of operating them.

I completely agree. Anything that can rattle the old boys' club and usher in a changing of the guard would greatly benefit society.

This does make me consider one point: power. All these allegations keep revolving around that one symbol. "It's not about sex. It's about power." Whether bullying, ostracization, humiliation, condemnation...it can take a multitude of forms. Is it perhaps the system itself that is toxic, and leads to divisions of power? Is anyone particularly immune to that sweet nectar? Is perhaps another solution to abolish all forms of hierarchal structure?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:02 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Abolishing all hierarchy is, as I understand it, the radical utopian’s solution to this kind of problem. I’m a skeptic about that kind of solution, for the same reason that I’m a skeptic about anarchism and think constitutional democracy is better. The existence of power/vulnerability is an irreducible feature of human relationships—from the parent-child imbalance to subtler distinctions based on age, experience, talent, luck, health, capacity &c—and the best we can do diversify the distribution of power and then contain and regulate its exercise.
posted by Aravis76 at 3:10 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


A year or so ago I was just clicking through the sidebar on Youtube and eventually made my way around to Takei radio appearances, I'm not going through them now to verify, but I feel like there were a few gross admissions and maybe even him touching a blindfolded naked guy who didn't know it was going to happen? Maybe it was all a set up but I stopped watching Takei stuff that day because something seemed off.

It's also not a coincidence that someone would be accused of what they admitted to, I mean, look at Louis CK - his whole career is playing exhibitionism with his crimes. Bill Cosby has the spanish fly joke among other scenes on The Cosby Show that basically outline his methods of abuse. If there's any evidence it was the Russians - ok, sure, but I still think he likely abused his position. But without that? Think horses, not zebras.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:31 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I don't ever think we could abolish power, sadly. It's human nature to have some people step up, want to lead, and most likely become power-drunk assholes when they can lord it over other people. The entire human species isn't going to 100% embrace powerlessness and/or mutuality.

"Late to the game former fan here. I mostly agree with the people who say there was absolutely nothing he could have said in a statement that wouldn't get ripped to shreds because a mere statement is woefully inadequate to address behavior this reprehensible. Forgiveness, to the extent it is on offer, will not come from how eloquently he tries to convince us he is remorseful. No fucking shit he's remorseful NOW....He says he's going away for a while. If a while=forever then i will believe he understands the gravity of what he did. "

I don't think there is anything he or anyone else in the same position could say to appease our rage, and it doesn't matter how good (hahahahahah) or bad (same old, same old) the so-called apology is. There's no way to magically say it right in such a way that people won't be seething with more rage because you said something. The only thing you can do that will possibly appease is to disappear forever and ever and ever. And/or do jail time, if that ever happens (hahahahah).
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:35 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Abolishing all hierarchy is, as I understand it, the radical utopian’s solution to this kind of problem. I’m a skeptic about that kind of solution

Indeed, this has been tried a bunch of times. What usually happens is that a hierarchy emerges, but it's an implicit hierarchy that takes a lot of effort to understand, which in the end is typically worse than an explicit hierarchy.
posted by nnethercote at 4:41 PM on November 12 [12 favorites]


Louis CK could have said something at the Jezebel post, when asked at TIFF, when specifically asked about Tig's comments. To only come out with some bullshit "I'm so amazing so yes I did that but only because you thought I was so amazing" apology now? That's just not good enough. He missed his chance at good enough.

Once you've apologized to victims privately (for a thing you didn't even do to them but to someone else who you also aren't facing up to) you can't deny them in public. I mean, you can - that's what most abusers do who have apologized in private - but it makes you eve more the predator that you've already shown yourself to be. Louis CK only has remorse for the fact that his silencing network finally failed him.

Just imagine if someone who assaulted you were famous and in every part of their professional career they got laughs for how they treated you? Louis is worse than the rest because he pretended to be better. I hope from now on he only finds laughs in the sad sacks at comedy clubs who think he's been bamboozled. Spend 20 years with Jim Norton and his clones as his only audience and see how that strikes him.

I hope his children's mother doesn't shield them from the type of man their father is. I hope they stay safe as they age.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 5:02 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


don't ever think we could abolish power, sadly.

Honestly, I think a large part of the problem is not hierarchical structures, but the lack of awareness of or willingness to look at how hierarchical structures and power can lead to abuse.

The military has a lot of sexual assault. 100%, and I wouldn’t even begin to deny it. But one thing it also has is a strong awareness that you are doing something wrong if you even try to fuck your subordinates. Even if it’s consensual. Because it acknowledges that power can lead to abuse. There are valid arguments about how much the punishments for it are enforced, but there’s no “IDK, is this really wrong?”

Louis CK should have known he shouldn’t try to fuck up and coming comics, even if it was consensual, which it wasn’t, because of the uneven power dynamic. There shouldn’t be any “I mean I asked amirite?” It should be “I was wrong - I was at the top, and they weren’t, and I could destroy them with a word.”
posted by corb at 5:37 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


"Well here's the logical next step: Peeple (mefi previously) Yelp for people; call-out culture for the masses. I mean, this is the only thing that can be done about all this, right?"

Are you kidding? Effective HR. Effective civil lawsuits. Effective criminal enforcement. Significant penalties, such that it's too expensive to retain harassers on staff. Better laws -- in some state, if a customer or client sexually harasses you at work, you have the same civil protections as if a coworker does. Forbid people with sexual assault convictions from getting guns. Forbid people with harassment citations in the past five years from getting fishing licenses, hunting licenses, professional licenses -- or require them to post a bond five times as high as normal for the licenses. Make professionals in positions of personal trust -- teachers, doctors, nurses -- lose their licenses upon even a civil award. Have professionals in positions of fiduciary trust (lawyers, accountants) have their licenses suspended for a year on first offense.

Vigilante justice is like the LAST option. First you go at it like we as a society went at DUIs -- they went from "whatever" to "not so great" to "huge liability issue" to "criminal act, loss of community stature, loss of professional licenses, possible jail time." We can shift public opinion, and we can use the existing tools of the law to hold people to account and to make it too expensive -- reputationally, professionally, monetarily -- to keep offending.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:54 PM on November 12 [51 favorites]


A Q&A For the Post-Weinstein Era by Mefi's Own Scalzi.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:10 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


Are you kidding?

I think you read the commenter out of context; they mentioned those examples, one hypothetical and one real, in order to raise concerns about such trends and to suggest criticism about the other kinds of power structures that they mentioned.

It is true that modern DUI laws/interventions are considered successful, but researchers in this field understand that the metric of success, or "better", or "effective" rely on a premise called the theory of deterrence. This overarching ideology is explicitly acknowledged in the literature. It's not easy to do research in this area (for obvious reasons), and lots of hard, open questions like, well how would policies in this domain translate to other domains, etc.
posted by polymodus at 7:21 PM on November 12


It is true that modern DUI laws/interventions are considered successful, but researchers in this field understand that the metric of success, or "better", or "effective" rely on a premise called the theory of deterrence. This overarching ideology is explicitly acknowledged in the literature. It's not easy to do research in this area (for obvious reasons), and lots of hard, open questions like, well how would policies in this domain translate to other domains, etc.

I don’t think you meant for this to read as condescending, but I’m pretty sure Eyebrows McGee is familiar with the concept of deterrence. Because I’m familiar with your clinical posting style here, I assume you meant well, but still.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:53 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Miley Cyrus doesn't have a history of sexual assault, as far as I know (I don't follow her career closely).


She has smacked the butts of black female dancers onstage during at least one of her tours.
posted by brujita at 10:38 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Rebecca Traister has a good piece about our current cultural moment around this and her own experiences. There's a lot in here that resonated with me, particularly her feelings around watching others be harassed in her professional life.

Two passages really stuck out for me in particular:
"So, no, I was never serially sexually harassed. But the stink got on me anyway. I was implicated. We all are, our professional contributions weighed on scales of fuckability and willingness to go along, to be good sports, to not be humorless scolds or office gorgons; our achievements chalked up to male affiliation — the boyfriend who supposedly supplies you with ideas or the manager who took you under his wing because he wanted to get inside your pants. We can rebuff the harasser; we can choose not to fuck the boss. But in a world where men hold inordinate power, we’re still in bed with the guy."
and
"The reason that handsy colleagues exist on the same plane as violent predators is that the harm done to women doesn’t end with the original offense. It’s also how we’re evaluated based on our reactions to it. Do we smile or remain stone-faced, reciprocate or retreat, ignore or complain? What becomes of us hangs on what we choose.

Considering all of these angles, it’s easy to conclude that this moment actually isn’t radical enough, because it’s limited to sexual grievances. One 60-year-old friend, who is single and in a precarious professional situation, says, “I’m burning with rage watching some assholes pose as good guys just because they never put their hands on a colleague’s thigh, when I know for a fact they’ve run capable women out of workplaces in deeply gendered ways. I’m very frustrated, because I’m not in a position right now to spill some beans.”
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:46 AM on November 13 [30 favorites]


I keep thinking about CK's response and how much it shows about how far we still have to go. It seems very easily the best response ever made to this type of allegations, admitting wrongdoing, acknowledging abuse of power, and promising to listen... and the more you re-read it, it's still a piece of shit. It never says the words "sorry" or "apologize," addresses his power only in an abstract way about "being admired" (as opposed to "my agent helped me fucking end some careers") and tries to paint the whole thing as something he somehow accepted his wrongdoing on and tried to improve from years ago but also somehow something he only realized the impact of a day or so before the letter.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:56 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


Marc Maron has now spoken at more length about CK. I have a feeling that this one may also fall into a category where it hits some of the right notes we don't often hear, but falls apart pretty quickly under scrutiny.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:26 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I dunno Marc, did you ever think "Hey I should ask some of the women who attended the 2002 Aspen festival if they had any sense of what happened." That's generally what women have to do just to stay safe.

Sure, blame the environment, but it's not like the whisper network is completely inaccessible to men. It's just that in general they don't make any attempt to tap into it. One notable example is PZ Meyers.
posted by muddgirl at 9:08 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Sorry, that should have been "One notable example of a man who has pretty effectively tapped into the whisper network in their community is PZ Meyers."
posted by muddgirl at 9:16 AM on November 13


“So when it comes to believing women, I want to believe women, but in this particular instance, there was no one named in that [Louis C.K. blind item], there was no place for women to go tell this story, there were no women attached to it. I didn’t know their names until Friday,” Maron said.

Well, one way you can start to believe women is to ask them. You don't even have to ask women who went to Aspen. He could have asked any woman comedian about it and she likely would have known about it in more detail and then you could have believed her. Stop fucking making excuses.

I'm a fan of Maron, but the way he's handling this is really poor and I hope he ends up learning something along the way.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:29 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Maron says: There’s no place women can go to report their mistreatment, and men lack the empathy to believe them. “So when it comes to believing women, I want to believe women, but in this particular instance, there was no one named in that [Louis C.K. blind item], there was no place for women to go tell this story, there were no women attached to it. I didn’t know their names until Friday,” Maron said. “So I believed my friend.

"I," Maron. "I lack the empathy to believe them." that's what you mean, say it.

as to how extremely hard it is to believe women even when you really really want to, because their words just somehow don't exist to listen to and you don't know their names: roseanne [1] and tig notaro, to name two women famous enough to be worth any twelve no-name female comics or seventy-five percent of a man, were saying stuff on twitter and, you know, to the press, well before Friday. I know this because I read about it ages ago. I am very much not a fan of Louis CK and never made any attempt to find out his secrets or follow his goings-on, I only know this because when I waste time on the internet it's with or around or reading about other women, and stuff gets around. publicly it gets around -- I'm not in any network, I don't care much about comedy culture, I'm not friends with anybody involved such that I might feel any urgency to find out what's true. but I still knew and I am nobody at all.

sorry to give Marc Maron so much more attention than his garbage deserves but he really is full of shit. of course his pal's victims would talk to famous women rather than famous men who are the pals of their abuser. but then, those famous women did the responsible thing and TOLD EVERYBODY. don't say you want to believe women but it's too hard, when what you mean is, you wanted to believe your friend, so you did.

[1] about whose public opinions people may have justified reservations -- but not on this topic.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:11 AM on November 13 [18 favorites]


I used to listen to Maron's show a lot but once I noticed how his women guests are treated different than the men it was difficult to ignore. When Iliza Shlesinger went on at one point she talked about how scary the comedy club gets after a certain point in the night and women should get out of there. It seemed entirely out of his grasp that she meant violence, probably sexualized violence. Like, he just couldn't even conceive of it.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:35 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


I haven't listened to the podcast itself and probably won't, so maybe I am chastising Maron for something he already acknowledged but going by the published quotes, I doubt it. and that thing is: just telling the fuckin truth would be so much less degrading for him than all this weaseling and theorizing that of course men can't see a power dynamic that they participate in every day, because reasons. and the pretend-story that the problem is men honestly can't see or don't believe in it, rather than perhaps the problem is that men can see it, and they like it. or they don't like it, but it just plain isn't as important as their own careers.

anyway the truth that I would mind less, which comes out of my very good imagination and has no evidence for it, is: of course I knew it was probably true, are you kidding? but saying the right words about sexual violence is easy to do when it's theoretical and suddenly difficult when it comes with consequences, such as losing a friend. it never entered my head that, for example, every time he did this to a woman he knew, they lost a friend, and every time they tried to tell a man like me, they lost another one. that did not count for anything next to my own social comfort. all I can say in my own defense is I made sure never to ask any women for their experiences or opinions so that I could truthfully I didn't know for sure it was true, because I took care not to know.

this is basically what most people do, including some women. they rarely admit it because is shameful or something, I guess, I don't know. but it's a thoroughly understandable kind of reprehensible motivation, whether you forgive it easily or not all. vastly preferable to a whole bunch of blame-diffusing abstract nonsense about men's capacity for empathy.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:51 AM on November 13 [17 favorites]


Since the reports of Weinstein’s malevolence began to gush, I’ve received somewhere between five and 20 emails every day from women wanting to tell me their experiences: of being groped or leered at or rubbed up against in their workplaces. They tell me about all kinds of men — actors and publishers; judges and philanthropists; store managers and social-justice advocates; my own colleagues, past and present — who’ve hurt them or someone they know. It happened yesterday or two years ago or 20. Few can speak on the record, but they all want to recount how the events changed their lives, shaped their careers; some wish to confess their guilt for not reporting the behavior and thus endangering those who came after them. There are also women who do want to go on the record, women who’ve summoned armies of brave colleagues ready to finally out their repellent bosses. To many of them I must say that their guy isn’t well known enough, that the stories are now so plentiful that offenders must meet a certain bar of notoriety, or power, or villainy, before they’re considered newsworthy. This is part of what makes me, and them, angry:
posted by philip-random at 12:35 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


and on preview ... already posted

sorry about that.
posted by philip-random at 12:37 PM on November 13


Dave Becky's statement makes this all seem like an unfortunate misunderstanding -- just that one time. Oops, sorry he torpedoed women's careers!

Louis C.K.’s Former Manager Apologizes for Not Confronting the Comedian
“I profoundly regret and am deeply sorry for not listening to and not understanding what happened to Dana and Julia. If I had, I would have taken this event as seriously as it deserved to be, and I would have confronted Louis, which would have been the right thing to do.

I am providing this context so that others do not make the same mistake I did. At that time, I heard the story third-hand, and I interpreted the conversation as two women telling a story about a sexual encounter with a then-married Louis. Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual. I misperceived the casual way the story was portrayed to me — instead I should have recognized that it must have been a mask for their unease and discomfort in the face of his detestable behavior. My intent was to seek discretion to protect what I thought was a matter of infidelity. I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover-up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.

In hindsight, I was operating blindly from a one-sided place of privilege. Until last week, I knew only of this one isolated incident. Although this may sound naïve, it is true. Never once, in all of these years, did anyone mention any of the other incidents that were reported recently — I am appalled to learn of these. I have come to realize my status wielded an atmosphere where such news did not reach me, or worse yet, that it seemed such news did not matter to me. It does. It matters tremendously.

I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.
posted by gladly at 1:32 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


I was coming here to post that under the title of "Dave Becky would like to save his career."

Even if you take him at his word it's still fucked up in basically the same way as Maron. People have been saying for a long time, if you don't think you know people who are abusers or who have been abused, survivors don't trust you to disclose to you.

And how does he not go back after this becomes blind, and then not so blind, item territory and investigate a little?? Because he didn't want to know. He, like so many men, want to believe their friend (and in this case person who lines his pockets) is inelegant, a cad, etc but certainly not a predator, not a rapist, he would never, I know him, he's not like that. Until men are able to see the warning signs of a guy who is like this, we're not going to get anywhere. We need you, men, because we can't call these guys out or harm them in any way that changes anything. It has to become unacceptable to be "oh I know that guy, he's harmless."
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:47 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


From that Rebecca Traister essay:
"Her attitude suggests something of a generational divide. On one side are women who came of age before Anita Hill’s groundbreaking testimony against Clarence Thomas, who were perhaps raised to assume they’d encounter harassment and resolved to tough it out. To this contingent, younger women’s complaints can sound hand-wringingly excessive: What did those girls expect? What they expected was the world they’d been assured had arrived: a postfeminist one, in which they were something close to equal, in which their career paths were no longer supposed to be determined by big, swinging dicks — real ones."

Sorry, WHAT? What woman who came of age after Clarence Thomas got confirmed or at any point during his tenure on the SCOTUS felt assured that because of Anita Hill's testimony against Clarence Thomas--who is sitting on the court today, for some reason I feel like I need to point this out, it's like people don't realize it. He's been there this whole entire time, all! Clarence Thomas is a justice on the supreme court of the USA--what woman, I say, raised after Anita Hill went before congress and wasted a week or two of her life getting laughed at by Joe Biden et alia because of the hilariously demeaning way she was treated by Clarence Thomas, what woman who even heard a rumor about that thought that it all meant she was "something close to equal?"
posted by Don Pepino at 2:47 PM on November 13 [23 favorites]


So, I listened to all of Marc Maron's response. And it's not perfect. He talks about not hearing the specifics of the rumors--and then he openly acknowledges that the fact that he didn't ask women, and that they didn't have a space to talk outside the whisper network and didn't have the freedom to bring this out in the open is a huge fucking problem. He talks about Louie and says he believed him because "he's my friend" . . . And then has a long discussion about how this lack of communication with women and this lack of sympathy men often have for women being sexually harassed is toxic. He does say he lacked empathy for women--and he also says that's because he was a self-absorbed shit who was toxic in his relationships and had really shitty ideas about women and only saw them in relation to himself.

Maron is never going to be the guy who you go to for the well-crafted, perfect, encompassing response. And while he'll do his best, he also knows that he's far from perfect. You listen to enough of his episodes, and it's pretty clear the show is as much about trying to understand himself and understand different ways of looking at the world as it is about a basic interview. Over the course of it you can listen to him come to the understanding that he's spent his life carrying around all the toxicity any straight, white, cis-male might have--especially a comic--and that this is a problem and now he's trying to change.

It's extremely messy, very personal, and he can go all over the place with it. When he talks about developing empathy, compassion, and learning to listen to other people, all that, the examples he gives and the thought patterns he details are very clearly reflective of being an aforementioned straight white cis-male. If you're not in that group (and even if you are), you're probably going to think "Really? Really?" But like I said: it's messy and it's personal. You can tell he'll come into the booth with a general idea, but then will start actively working it out as it's recording.

I really like this about him. I don't think he's the arbiter of all that's good, and he doesn't always get as far as I'd like him to go. But I also know that he's not going to stop thinking about the subject, and when he returns to it or something similar down the line he's probably going to be a bit farther down the road. We have more than enough examples of "Befores", we've got "Afters", but there aren't a lot of people who are willing to share their journey in real-time. I think that's pretty valuable, because people in the places where Maron was very rarely get the model for how to go anywhere else--or why you would want to. His aforementioned thought patterns are going to make a lot of sense, probably leave you with something to think about. And it's pretty likely that if you think of yourself as a Dude's Dude like Maron, it is extremely rare for you to encounter someone "like you" who gets publicly vulnerable and emotional the way Maron has done.

I am rambling. I guess what I mean is that, like I said, I wouldn't hold Maron's response as the ~*Perfect Last Word*~, but I think it is more likely to pull the recalcitrant to a bit more thoughtful viewpoint than the responses that are more intersectional or in-depth or however you want to put it.
posted by schroedinger at 5:41 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


I'm far more interested in Maron's actions than his words. Will he listen to women now? We don't know. Will he champion his good friend returning to comedy and assure everyone both of them are now "woke" and "good" and "redeemed" due to their long, self-indulgent explorations of how they Got It All So Wrong that One Time? Based on history, my money's on the latter. I'd enjoy it if men in general would surprise me, but I no longer expect it.
posted by Deoridhe at 9:02 PM on November 13 [13 favorites]


A Q&A For the Post-Weinstein Era by Mefi's Own Scalzi.

Scalzi's blog had something this year that disappointed me on this topic. I'm not trying to get pitchforks out for Scalzi, whose fiction I really like, whose blog I generally find charming. And I know the vast majority of the sources I'm about to cite happened 8-10 years back and I think many of us have grown a lot since then.

So, does anybody else remember when when Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis on stage in front of a lot of people? And it sucked for her? And this was the statement Scalzi made at the time about it, which is not particularly supportive of Willis, just sort of implying that Harlan would deserve violence done to him in return.

Willis wasn't even the only person beset by his hands that day. And Harlan wrote a big long screed about how he did it on purpose, and she deserved it, and how horrible it was that everybody was coming after him about it, and how horrible SHE was being for not coming to his defense or accepting his apology. ("And for four days I’ve waited for Deeply Outraged and Debased Connie Willis — an avowed friend and admirer of my work for more than a quarter century –to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet.")

In 2009 Scalzi wrote a post about a dream involving Harlan Ellison ("...if you don’t know who Harlan Ellison is, please drown yourself now.") And when Harlan Ellison himself drops by, because he CANNOT resist pushing back on the notion that he did something wrong by groping Connie Willis, Scalzi only tells him "You are indeed welcome here anytime you choose to drop by." Remember that Scalzi was at the conference when it happened though he didn't directly witness it, and this was the commentary he made about it at the time. Scalzi lets Harlan Ellison call everybody who was upset about that incident lots of names without any comment, makes sure Ellison knows that Scalzi bears no personal grudge and looks forward to an in person introduction.

In 2013 after someone was harassed at WisCon by a serial harasser with influence Scalzi put forth a Convention Harassment Policy, which garnered many signatures. And I think that's a good thing. (Here's the metafilter thread at the time.) People start bring up the Harlan Ellison incident and his behavior on Whatever, and Scalzi specifically requests that discussion thread shut down. Meanwhile, in an interview Ellison just brings the incident up on his own and denies it outright.

Flash forward to July of this year when one of the Big Ideas was for a biography of Harlan Ellison. Two people brought up the incident and asked if the book even touched on it, but comments were soon closed afterwards, which I think is an automatic thing, as managing non-cesspool comment sections is a huge amount of work and I do not begrudge him this.

The silly thing is I don't even know what I would want or expect from that Big Idea, it's just that I remember it pricking me at the time because it's promoting this outright hagiography of Harlan Ellison while not just eliding the problems of Harlan Ellison but outright SHOVING them to the side as unimportant and not worthy of examination:
Indeed, most of the stories I found during my research could be divided into two categories: “What a wild man Harlan is” and “I alone escaped to tell thee.”

Balderdash. What I discovered was a man who takes his craft seriously and fiercely defends others who labor in the field of words. An attack on them was an attack on him, and an attack on him was not to be deflected but returned in kind.
You look at the commentary back around at the time of that incident and a lot of people rushed to defend him, or make excuses, and continued to do so years afterwards. And Ellison's toxic behavior doesn't confine itself to being handsy with women, men get targeted too. He's outright assaulted people or recruited fans to harass others. This stuff isn't "balderdash", it's toxic behavior that a lot of people put up and excused or even lauded for a very long time.

Given all the previous, I think a better essay than a Q&A for the enlightenment of others would be Scalzi grappling about why he would write this:
With that said, someone being outed as a harassing/assaulting piece of shit makes it much less likely I will support their future work, since I generally prefer not to give money to people who sexually harass and assault people...

...don’t be a harassing piece of shit, don’t accept other dudes being harassing pieces of shit, and when women (and others) tell you that someone has harassed or assaulted them, believe them.
but not have honestly engaged (I don't count transcribed oblique side jokes with the wife) with this one very publicized and well known incident--not when it happened, not when it popped up a few years later where Ellison was told he was welcome after lambasting anybody bringing it up, not when the biography promo happened this very year.

Why this essay, and not that one?

Is it because Ellison made work that Scalzi deeply respects and it's hard to overcome that, when somebody who is that much of a legend comments on your blog? Does Scalzi think Ellison counts as a "harassing piece of shit"; if not, why not? If so, what counts as "not accepting", given the above recounting? Is it because eeeeeeverrrrrybody just KNOWS Ellison is like this (less whisper network, more shouting network) and nobody thinks he can improve and he's now reclusive enough (suffered a stroke this decade) to be out of the way so the particular problem solved itself? Is it because Willis' incident wasn't bad enough to be a real problem? Because Harlan goes around making a fuss about it but Willis, as far as I can tell, hasn't publicly, and it's not like she stopped publishing, so she can deal with it and he can't? (Heck, for all I know Willis asked people she knew not to engage on the issue, and Scalzi's in that inner circle and just respecting her wishes.) Because it would cause a fuss Scalzi doesn't have the time/energy/bandwidth to deal with? Is it because his own worldview, like many of us, has evolved since 2006 and 2009; does Scalzi feel like he'd do things differently now than he did then? Why are so many people super invested in exonerating Ellison's bad behavior or mythologizing it or ignoring it and what's the best way of handling that? Does Scalzi feel the need to support by promotion a book (yes, I know not all Big Idea books are representative of Scalzi and his opinions, but that promo is not an isolated incident against the other history in the blog) without wrestling with all this complicated background because it's done by a shoestring fan volunteer press that's published him before and they need all the help they can get? Why did he go to the bat for that WisCon incident, but seems okay with Harlan Ellison being a missing stair? Would he classify Harlan Ellison as a missing stair?

How do you acknowledge the giants of your field while holding them accountable? How do we handle people who are charismatic and produce amazing things we love, but do not treat everyone else with respect?
posted by foxfirefey at 1:25 AM on November 14 [27 favorites]


You listen to enough of his episodes, and it's pretty clear the show is as much about trying to understand himself...

Another definition of male privilege: assuming other people will be interested enough in your navel-gazing to put out a weekly podcast of your thoughts disguised as interviews.

As you say, he probably will reach a few people who might otherwise stick to a hardline defence of Louis CK. But yeesh, what a self-indulgent way to do it.
posted by harriet vane at 6:34 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


The best thing about an ongoing confessional is that you never actually have to grow - just self-reflect and self-reflect and self-reflect. In fact, if you actually grow or change, your confessional material decreases.
posted by muddgirl at 7:00 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


It's a cheat. The whole "I know I'm a fuckup, so I'm going to make the entire act about how I'm a fuck up."

Stop being a fuckup. The fact that you're a fuckup and somehow get away with it doesn't make you interesting, it's just a manifestation of privilege, and the fact that you find it interesting is an expression of the narcissism of privilege.

Just be better and trust we will find that interesting.
posted by maxsparber at 7:16 AM on November 14 [12 favorites]


And how does he not go back after this becomes blind, and then not so blind, item territory and investigate a little?? Because he didn't want to know. He, like so many men, want to believe their friend (and in this case person who lines his pockets) is inelegant, a cad, etc but certainly not a predator, not a rapist, he would never, I know him, he's not like that. Until men are able to see the warning signs of a guy who is like this, we're not going to get anywhere. We need you, men, because we can't call these guys out or harm them in any way that changes anything. It has to become unacceptable to be "oh I know that guy, he's harmless."

It's not just that they don't want to know and don't want to call it out. Or that they are steeped in privilege. I think for some men there is also a bit of fear that by breaking ranks to defend women they will be accused of being traitors or something similar. Or perhaps that they might be accused if they put themselves in the public eye. If they keep their heads down, the spotlight won't shine on them.

Or even that through introspection or a public call-out they will learn that something they themselves did in the past was terrible. I've had enough conversations with good, decent male friends to know that at least some men are now mentally reviewing their own dating histories to determine if they had sex in the past with someone who was drunk or was otherwise unable to properly consent. Those are questions I think a few men have had to think about, at the very least. It's good that they're aware of it, but it doesn't change their pasts. I wonder if any of this contributes to their silence.

--

On a separate note, it is utterly incomprehensible to me that some women defend men who are accused of assault/rape/abuse/molestation by trashing and blaming the accusers and perpetuating rape culture.
posted by zarq at 8:08 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


How do you acknowledge the giants of your field while holding them accountable?

I am moving very firmly into the “75% of men over a certain age have done this crap” position, But I think that’s a really hard position for most men to go into. They’re OK with exposing harassers when they think that harassers are rare and unusual enough that exposing them all won’t completely cut themselves off from society, but realizing just how thick the soup we are swimming in is? That’s a lot harder for them.

Men who have harassed women are not the tiny minority that can be shunned without many pains. They are the vast and overwhelming majority, and avoiding them entirely causes serious career consequences. That’s exactly why it is so damaging to the victims. Because operating outside the patriarchy is hard, and not very remunerative. It is exactly the point that you can’t work in any field without dealing with harassers. That is what being a woman is like.
posted by corb at 8:10 AM on November 14 [22 favorites]


On a separate note, it is utterly incomprehensible to me that some women defend men who are accused of assault/rape/abuse/molestation by trashing and blaming the accusers and perpetuating rape culture.

I surmise they are hoping to cash in on benevolent sexism (Emily Crockett, Vox).
Benevolent sexism is the carrot, Glick explained, and hostile sexism is the stick. If you’re a “good” woman who meets expected gender norms — who has warm feminine charms, who maintains strict beauty standards, whose ambitions are focused on home and hearth — you will be rewarded with affection, protection, and praise. But step outside those norms, and you risk being labeled as one of the “bad” girls who are abused and scorned only because they deserve it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:13 AM on November 14 [16 favorites]


I surmise they are hoping to cash in on benevolent sexism (Emily Crockett, Vox).

That's awful and entirely believable. :(

Thank you for the link and explanation.
posted by zarq at 8:22 AM on November 14


Elllison in particular bothers me. I see people shrug his behavior aside as just Harlan being Harlan, that his bitter and toxic behavior is justified, that he is the way he is and won't change, so why bother? There's an odd mix of admiration, respect, and fear when I see people discuss him a lot of the time, and I've seen very few people call him out for his crueler behavior in any capacity.

He's always struck me as a jerk for a very, very long time. I wish "he's always been that way and is the way he is" wouldn't be used to shrug away his behavior towards Willis, Platt, Palmer, and others.

That's part of the problem right there.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 10:10 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


Foxfirefey:

You also attempted to post your comment here at Whatever, and it went into moderation because of the number of links. I freed the comment but I didn't think it was directly on topic, so I deleted the part of the comment replicating what you posted here but also posted a link directly to the comment, and added context so people understood what the link was about. I'll also respond here.

With regard to the Ellis/Willis grope, there's no doubt Ellis was in the wrong and deserved the public criticism he got at the time, and has gotten since. Also to be clear I think he was in the wrong, should not have done it, and deserves criticism. It was a shitty thing, and there's no excuse for it.

With regard to my Whatever post at the time, I think is best seen as complementary to other discussion going on in the science fiction community; I made the point obliquely because at the time very few people in the SF community would not have understood it in context. If you go through the Whatever archives, you will see I will do short or oblique posts in this style from time to time, when I don't think I have anything new or useful to add to the discussion (or don't have time/inclination to take a deep dive into the topic one way or another, but want to note I'm aware of a conversation going on, that people expect me to weigh in on, for whatever reason).

With regard to cutting short discussions of the groping event in comment threads, the basic thought there is that comment threads, particularly on contentious topics, are easily derailed and I want to keep people focused on the topic at hand rather than relitigating past events. Obviously, people can decide for themselves whether I take too heavy a hand re: keeping comment threads on what I feel is on topic, but I'm going to moderate my site how I see fit. I have at least a few people who are regular commenters there who will derail into their favorite soapbox positions at the earliest opportunities, and not a few trolls. 15 years of moderating the site has given me a sense when to wade in to keep comments from getting messier than they need to be.

(Also, re: The Big Idea piece you mention, indeed these days I cap comments after 48 hours. This is because most of the useful/interesting conversation, in my experience, happens in that timeframe, and also dramatically cuts down on spam comments.)

Do I have a different opinion/attitude toward sexual harassment/assault now than I did in 2006 or 2009? In the sense that I always saw it as wrong, no; in the sense that I'm more willing to speak out about it and call people out, I think so. It's possible and probable I wouldn't respond now the way I did in 2006/09. With that said, I'm not always going to respond the way people think I should to an event they think I should respond to, for all sorts of reasons, including that I'm one person, who has to pick and choose what things to engage on, and some things I feel more comfortable engaging on, for whatever reason, than others. Likewise, there are other times when I think the best thing for me to do is let other people take the lead. Plus: I'm not perfect and sometimes I will fail to meet a standard people expect for me. It's also possible that sometimes I will have a different opinion about something than what people want me to have; that's always fun.

As a matter of disclosure, I'll note that now (but not in 2006, or 2009) I know Harlan Ellison somewhat; when I was president of SFWA he took it as his prerogative to call me whenever he felt like to comment or complain about things. I like him and I think he deserves his Grand Master status, and I also and unequivocally think he did a really shitty thing to Connie Willis up there on stage, and deserved the criticism he got for it. As another matter of disclosure, now (but not in 2006) I know Connie Willis. My opinion of her may be ascertained by noting who was president of SFWA when she was made a Grand Master by the organization.
posted by jscalzi at 11:21 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


One of the running themes I notice in a lot of these situations (Cosby, CK, Weinstein) is there were preexisting rumors that these individuals were dangerous to women and to be avoided, but it took a long time for these rumors to lead to consequences and punishment. There are multiple factors feeding into this (a system that protects abusers and harassers, a hostile environment, intimidation of victims).

And a lot of the time there's no punishment within the person's lifetime at all, and the knowledge of their dark side leaks out later - and even then, it might not be common knowledge, and at the very least usually not what the abuser is remembered for.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:54 AM on November 14




> I like him and I think he deserves his Grand Master status, and I also and unequivocally think he did a really shitty thing to Connie Willis up there on stage, and deserved the criticism he got for it.

Do you really think that's the only "shitty thing" he's done? If so, I submit you're being strongly influenced by your friendship (just like all those other friends and associates of abusers). I've heard stuff about Harlan for half a century now, and I'm quite sure it's not just all malicious rumors. Even by his own self-presentation he's a jerk, and I think most of us know by now that those who present as jerks generally behave as jerks. If not, maybe you should reconsider your friendship. See above about friends and associates of abusers.
posted by languagehat at 1:25 PM on November 14 [18 favorites]


As you say, he probably will reach a few people who might otherwise stick to a hardline defence of Louis CK. But yeesh, what a self-indulgent way to do it.

Humans are extremely resistant to having their opinions changed. Going after them with data and logic only makes them dig in. The prevailing view is that this is because people attach their opinions to their identities, their identities to their social groups, and a desire to form and maintain social groups is hardwired into the human lizard brain. The result is that trying to get humans to change their opinions requires them to combat their deepest instincts. Getting humans to the self-awareness wherein they realize they're falsely attaching them to their identities is difficult enough--much less getting them to rationalize why they're doing it.

So if you want to change minds, you need an emotional appeal. You need an appeal that says "I'm part of your group, and this opinion fits in with who we are." Like for some people, finding out their son or daughter is LGBTQ+ gets their minds changing. For others, it requires their pastor talking to someone. The point is that it's got to be someone they identify with and like and respect.

I don't think any of us need data trotted out demonstrating that there are a significant chunk of people coming from Maron's place in this discussion than the other side. The fact that it's 2017 and it's only now people like Weinstein are allowed to exist is indicative of that in of itself. The fact that 46.1% of the country voted for Trump, and that we can't exactly depend on the people who didn't vote for him to not be sexist assholes, is indicative of that.

I am not saying that Maron isn't privileged. Of course he does. I'm not saying he doesn't still have a ways to go--and he says that himself. I'm saying that when other people who like Maron listen to him explain where he was, where he is now, how he got there, and he exhorts them to follow his lead, it makes a difference in changing minds in a way that people more intersectional than him won't. But I would like him to keep doing what he does, because the people who need it are not listening to Another Round, Still Processing, The Read, or Unreserved. There is a place for Maron. I don't think everyone should be listening to him. But I am glad that the people he appeals to listen to him, because he'll pull them along with him.

(I think this is derailing though so I'm stopping)
posted by schroedinger at 1:49 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


Languagehat:

"Do you really think that's the only "shitty thing" he's done?"

I was not aware I was required to make an accounting and editorial comment regarding every shitty thing he might have done.
posted by jscalzi at 3:23 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


You aren't, of course you aren't. You aren't required to say anything at all about anything. But, if you're going to post something like the Q&A people might have questions about your friendship with missing stairs.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:01 PM on November 14 [15 favorites]


I don’t give a shit how good your friend is at what they do: writing comedy or sci-fi, or digging ditches or hammering nails. You wanna tell me your friend is a piece of shit but it’s okay? Hey, he only does this sometimes? But he’s really good at what he does? And you love and respect his work?

C’mon. You cross the line, you cross the line, no matter how fucking artistic you
/they might be. Louis CK and Harlan Ellison both have used their position and power to be total fucking pieces of shit. And you know this. Otherwise, why would you be so defensive?
posted by valkane at 4:30 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


Valkane:

I wasn't aware that saying "he was in the wrong, should not have done it, and deserves criticism. It was a shitty thing, and there's no excuse for it" is in any way defensive. I thought it made it pretty clear where I stood on the matter.

Also, to be clear, with reference to the implication of Valkane and INESTBHT, Ellison isn't my friend. We know each other through phone calls and professional contact. We have friends in common, and I like him, to the extent I've interacted with him. Saying "I like him" doesn't excuse his shitty behavior. It does point out that you can find simultaneously have found someone likeable in your own personal interaction with them and find his behavior toward certain other people inexcusable. I don't see that as a defense, or defensive. Your mileage may vary.

Also, INESTBHT, I'm not sure I would classify Harlan Ellison as a "missing stair." His (mis)behavior over the years is well-known and documented.
posted by jscalzi at 5:10 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


> I was not aware I was required to make an accounting and editorial comment regarding every shitty thing he might have done.

Good lord. OK, if you're that defensive about him, never mind. Go on talking about "one shitty thing." But be aware you sound exactly like all those other people trying to get away with as little condemnation of their errant pals as they can.
posted by languagehat at 5:16 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


Ah so everyone knows he's an abusive shit, ok, that's a way better reason to find him likable.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 5:19 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


languagehat:

"OK, if you're that defensive about him, never mind."

As noted, I'm not in the least defensive about him. But when I'm addressing a specific incident that someone brought up, specifically, you saying "Do you really think that's the only shitty thing he's ever done?" feels rhetorically a bit along the line of "Senator, when did you stop beating your wife?" My initial response is was going to be "Do you misapprehend how language is used that this appears to you in any way a reasonable question?" but I decided to recast it instead.

So, no, languagehat, I'm not defensive about how I feel about Harlan Ellison, or his actions. However, I am mildly contemptuous of stupid and leading questions. I hope that clarifies matters for you.
posted by jscalzi at 5:32 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


His (mis)behavior over the years is well-known and documented.

And protected. By people like you, who continue to tolerate and even welcome him in your larger community. It doesn’t matter how you rules-lawyer your choices; the fact is you accepted and accept Ellison’s behavior because you accept him. And the other people in your community get the message loud and clear.

Man, you’re the one who said you shouldn’t tolerate shitty people. Contorting yourself in order to parse your own statements past the point of “technically correct” doesn’t change the fact that you fell way short of your own standard, nor does it change the fact that you’re refusing to accept responsibility for that now. If you can’t do an honest accounting of your own choices — because that is what people are asking, and you know that — then, yeah, even though you’ve publicized anti-harassment policies etc, you’re still part of the problem. You know, because people are complex, or whatever.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:32 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Sometimes, especially in online spaces, you can be very certain in your heart of hearts that you're being misread and misinterpreted, that some statement was crystal clear and by gum those misreadings and misinterpretations might be downright willful, harrumph. It's a pretty good guideline to slow down, take a breath, and reflect that sniffy "oh really I didn't know that [clear statement (to me)] meant [opposite of clear statement (to me)] good to know thanks!" constructions, if intended to be clever, are prone instead to the failure state of clever. (I've always loved that bit, because it put words to some wisdom I frequently wish I could reach back through a time door and get through my younger self's skull. Years from now, I expect to wish to reach back and do the same to the younger self then which is me now. Eat at Milliways.)

That importance holds especially in topics where people are pissed off, and hurting with weights the luckier and privileged among us will never personally carry, and have many raw nerves from various sea-lions wellactuallying at them just about every day of their lives. Even well-intentioned failure states of clever can draw friendly fire. The best approach is generally to stop digging, and time will out good intention from bad.
posted by Drastic at 5:33 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


[Folks, this a slightly odd dynamic because jscalzi is both a public figure with a blog and a member here, but this needs to not turn into a group Q&A/interrogation of any one person. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:34 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


what if it was possible for Harlan Ellison to be nice and likeable to some people but also an abusive shit to others

what if attempting to obscure these gray areas is exactly what perpetuates the missing stair phenomenon, because when we demand classification of people as Good/Sweet/Kind vs Bad/Nasty/Cruel, it results in everyone thinking that a person who is Good/Sweet/Kind to them could not possibly do a Bad Thing, because only Bad/Nasty/Cruel people do Bad Things

jfc
posted by schroedinger at 5:35 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


i.e. insisting "No, you haven't had any good interactions with him and he isn't likeable to anybody" until your target agrees with you isn't a really productive way to discuss the issue of how and whether communities identify missing stairs and deal with them
posted by schroedinger at 5:41 PM on November 14


Drastic, et al:

It's indeed entirely possible I'm not expressing myself well. And I did just get testy at languagehat, so there's that.

Also, I do think the observation that I've liked him appears to suggest to people that I am trying to defend him. I really don't think I am. I am sharing what I've thought of him in my interactions with him, and I'm also trying to make the point that how I've felt about him in no way excuses his actions.

This is why I don't feel defensive about Ellison, because, again, I very strongly don't believe I'm defending him, so there's nothing to feel defensive about. I'm telling folks here my interactions with him by way of disclosure. Now, again, if people find that some record and admission of positive interaction with someone who also did stupid and harassing things amounts to a defense, well, we do have a divergence of opinion there.

I think at this point I'll excuse myself from commenting further on the thread. By this point I think people either get where I'm coming from or they don't, and if they don't they'll see me as supporting and protecting Ellison. I disagree. He's done what he's done; he owns the consequences of them.
posted by jscalzi at 5:48 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


He's done what he's done; he owns the consequences of them.

What consequences?


i.e. insisting "No, you haven't had any good interactions with him and he isn't likeable to anybody" until your target agrees with you

That's not happening. We're trying to point out that being protected by people who find him likable is part of how this all goes down. Mel Gibson is super likable I hear, same with Louis CK, there seem to be people who even find Terry Richardson likable. It's immaterial. Men not having the guts to actually visit social consequences on abusers in their spheres because they're good dudes or whatever is how we're here having this conversation.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 6:00 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


I guess I just don't quite get the combination of "I like him" with finding his behavior "inexcusable." Finding him likeable, sure. Lots of gross people are likeable; being likeable is a key skill for getting away with gross behavior over many years. And liking his books, sure. Lots of great art comes from problematic people.

But liking him, in the present tense? That's just dismissive of the (supposedly inexcusable) gross behavior and dismissive of the people who were hurt by it, and that's honestly pretty shabby.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:12 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Have you tried reading "I like him" so as to mean "I've found him likeable"? You know...charitably?
posted by uosuaq at 6:22 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Brave Enough to Be Angry
Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. Close your eyes and think of America.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 6:35 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Another factor to this issue is that when Big Names in certain communities, whether in comics, video games, or conventions, repeatedly engage in harassment without serious punishment it sends the message to other creeps that this behavior is acceptable and emboldens them, which in turn contributes to making those spaces even more toxic.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 6:41 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


what if it was possible for Harlan Ellison to be nice and likeable to some people but also an abusive shit to others

Depends on what side of himself he wants to show to you. And let's face it--if he's trying to get into your vagina, he'll have a different goal of behavior towards you compared to if you don't have a vagina to get into. I'm sure a lot of these guys are super great towards other men they don't have the desire to fuck, or maybe Kevin Spacey is nice to women for all we know.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:43 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Depends on what side of himself he wants to show to you. And let's face it--if he's trying to get into your vagina, he'll have a different goal of behavior towards you compared to if you don't have a vagina to get into. I'm sure a lot of these guys are super great towards other men they don't have the desire to fuck, or maybe Kevin Spacey is nice to women for all we know.

Yes, this is my point.
posted by schroedinger at 6:46 PM on November 14


what if it was possible for Harlan Ellison to be nice and likeable to some people but also an abusive shit to others

Then he's an abusive shit. By the way, this is common predator behavior - they tend to know very well whom they can and cannot abuse within their societal structure.

what if attempting to obscure these gray areas is exactly what perpetuates the missing stair phenomenon, because when we demand classification of people as Good/Sweet/Kind vs Bad/Nasty/Cruel, it results in everyone thinking that a person who is Good/Sweet/Kind to them could not possibly do a Bad Thing, because only Bad/Nasty/Cruel people do Bad Things

No, what perpetuates the missing stair is the idea that we should treat people who are only abusive shits to some people as being in a gray area, instead of saying that they're abusive shits period.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:44 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


We have friends in common, and I like him, to the extent I've interacted with him. Saying "I like him" doesn't excuse his shitty behavior. It does point out that you can find simultaneously have found someone likeable in your own personal interaction with them and find his behavior toward certain other people inexcusable.
...
By this point I think people either get where I'm coming from or they don't, and if they don't they'll see me as supporting and protecting Ellison. I disagree. He's done what he's done; he owns the consequences of them.


I think I do get where you're coming from.

The point you might have missed is that there are a lot of folks here, myself included, who are a little disappointed that one of those consequences has not been that you, as an influential and well respected artist working in the same space as Ellison and who has had personal contact with him, would consider simply remaining silent in public on the topic of his personal charm, since mentioning it is so easily and predictably read as mitigation or support and does have a chilling effect on those deciding whether or not to come forward about mistreatment at his hands and those of others.

As things stand at present, your clear and unambiguous disapproval of his shitty behavior has had a bit of the edge taken off it, and that's a pity and something of a lost opportunity.
posted by flabdablet at 8:44 PM on November 14 [20 favorites]


I never got into Louis CK even though I kept reading good things about his work, and I never cared anything about Weinstein because I didn't know anything about him, and Moore's politics are my natural enemy, but in my teenie weenie years I spent a lot of time reading SF. It was an escape from and a guide for the unbearable things I knew in my heart but wasn't allowed to say. I bought complete Hugo short story anthologies from a used bookstore and read them from cover to cover. Each story was lovingly introduced by Isaac Asimov, who seemed to know everybody personally and had such engaging stories about them. I loved those intros. I luxuriated in them. Asimov made everyone seem like a family. Harlan Ellison, having won so many awards, was featured very prominently. I found the faux exasperated insult friendship Asimov described quite charming--they even went back and forth sometimes. Ellison's stories and the Dangerous Visions anthologies he edited, along with the stories of many others, had a great effect on my inner landscape.

Then, of course, later you find out how dysfunctional the family is, and there's a different sort of effect that curtains over what you thought you knew. That's the pattern, isn't it? You think things were one way, but they weren't all along, you just never knew.

I did a lot of reading last night to try and orient myself on what happened at that convention but I couldn't bring myself to actually watch the video of the incident. Because what if I didn't recognize it for what it was, even knowing what everyone was saying about it (it was horrible, it was nothing, she was very upset, if she was so upset why didn't she hit him or rebuke him on stage, I couldn't even tell, that's just the way he is, he's actually really nice and great, he's only mean when people give him a reason, why are we all still dealing with this problem). What would that say about me and my ability to navigate all of this, if I couldn't even recognize it caught on video? It's so ridiculous. I am ridiculous. I don't know what I'm doing and it scares me.

My brain is full of points I don't know how to make. All this stuff has been churning in my mind in the past year as I try to deal with my own complicity involving sexual harassment and my own family. I don't know how to feel about it, or the best thing to do. I yearn for rehabilitation and healing while simultaneously knowing the person is incapable of it, so there can be no salvage. And what do I do about my own failures? How do I know what the right and good thing is? If I knew, would I be brave enough to do it? It's a free floating anxiety that catches onto any snag in the stream and eats away at it like acid. I want to know how we all go forward, all of us knowing what we know, and not knowing so much of it, and how can we get there from here, and what the cost is going to be, and if we can stand to pay it.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:41 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I have thought about this a lot and think that the idea of ignoring the missing stairs until they either actually get it and apologize (and make up for it in whatever judicial or financial ways) or they're dead? That might be tenable. Like, don't give them a prize or invite them to speak at a conference. Even if they have other good ideas, they have kicked really smart people out of a field that likes good ideas. People can still be friends with these people who persist in being utter jackasses. Please don't put them in any kind of media (edit them/publish them/review them) until they sort out that women are also humans and not up for literal grabs. They are actively hurting a bunch of cool people who would otherwise feel a rad sense of belonging and would be writing lots of good material.
posted by lauranesson at 12:22 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


bit along the line of "Senator, when did you stop beating your wife?"

I think the point about this being a stereotypically unfair inquiry is in cases when the Senator never started beating his wife in the first place. In the context of someone who has done something abusive, it's not at all out of line.
posted by layceepee at 5:19 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


On Bad Men And Unseen Art
Burying these projects may be sweeping dirt under the rug, but putting dirt on display invariably rewards these men by allowing them, and their enablers, to continue to profit from within an industry they have poisoned. Dumping this work is a small gesture toward the people who were harmed by these men, a demonstration that consequences—at least occasionally, when the social pressure is calibrated just so—can exist. It also sends a message to other powerful men: You, too, can be caught and relegated into the margins.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:27 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


If kicking a harassing piece of shit out of the SFWA simply isn't possible, then maybe the president shouldn't answer the phone when he rings.
posted by muddgirl at 8:54 AM on November 15 [5 favorites]


Not for nothing man,but I know Harlan, I've been groped by Harlan, and Scalzi isn't responsible for Harlan, and attempts to paint scalzi with Harlans brush are not fair or reasonable.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:58 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


And just to be clear, the reason I am picking at this is because I know, from deep personal experience, that it is quite easy to write a thoughtful and articulate blog post all about what people should do when they are accused of being a predator, and what the people who are collegial with predators should do when they witness harassment or hear about it third-party, but suddenly everything seems to look different when it's a pillar of my own community that we're all talking about. And that knee-jerk instinct is the first thing we need to confront.
posted by muddgirl at 8:58 AM on November 15 [18 favorites]


> Not for nothing man,but I know Harlan, I've been groped by Harlan, and Scalzi isn't responsible for Harlan, and attempts to paint scalzi with Harlans brush are not fair or reasonable.

Huh? Nobody's painting jscalzi with Harlan's brush; people are trying to point out that, while it's perfectly possible that Harlan has been a great guy with jscalzi and jscalzi continues to find him likable (which I can completely understand), it's not especially helpful in this context to pair your explicit condemnation of his actions (which I applaud, though I still find the insistence on "one shitty thing" pretty odd) with mentions of how likable you find him. Nobody's trying to control anybody's emotions; it's a question of what message you're sending, and to me (and apparently others), the message jscalzi is sending is "Sure, that bad thing he did is bad, but what a lovable scamp!" and/or "Don't worry, Harlan, I don't like what you did but I'll still sit next to you at conventions!" I'm not trying to pile on jscalzi, and I'm sorry my earlier comments put his back up, but I do feel that people with as prominent a public position as his have more of a responsibility to consider the public weight of their statements than random MeFi commenters (though of course we should all comment responsibly).

Frankly, it reminds me of this story about everyone ignoring the topic of sexual harassment at the Governors Awards. Apparently there's a time and a place for condemnation, and a time and a place for sharing hors d’oeuvres in a comradely way.
posted by languagehat at 9:24 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Not for nothing man,but I know Harlan, I've been groped by Harlan, and Scalzi isn't responsible for Harlan, and attempts to paint scalzi with Harlans brush are not fair or reasonable.

There was a guy in our community who was handsy in a predatory fashion. The moment I found out, I emailed him and said I was done with him. Then I called all the people we knew in common, told them, told them they could make their own decisions, but I would not be party to anything more having to do with that guy.

I wasn't responsible for his behavior, but I was responsible for that.

I know I have fallen down on this sort of thing before. I try not to now. There is no place for abuses of dignity, of gender, of sexuality. No art is worth it.
posted by maxsparber at 9:27 AM on November 15 [21 favorites]


"...someone being outed as a harassing/assaulting piece of shit makes it much less likely I will support their future work, since I generally prefer not to give money to people who sexually harass and assault people. To be blunt, there’s a category of work I file under 'to be enjoyed after the creator is dead.' That’s where a lot of work is being sent these days."
I don't have the patience to struggle through more than a paragraph or two of Harlan Ellison before I throw the book across the room. The Harry Crews vibe is too strong with certain writers; it's like hanging out in the ape hall at the zoo. Fun for about three seconds and then you start to be able to taste the stink plus watching the chestpounding and jacking and asspicking gets dull. Louis CK, however. Never not funny; always worth the time. Nevertheless, I am of course filing everything he's done under "to be enjoyed never the hell ever because Jesus fucking Christ, sell your goddamn boat you never shut up about, sell all your houses and cars, give all your money to NOW, get into your sackcloth kit and get the fuck away forever." Are you seriously saying that this shitflinging shrieking pile of garbage doesn't get the file and Louis does?
posted by Don Pepino at 11:20 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


"On Bad Men And Unseen Art"

On a similar theme, from Caroline Framke at Vox:

Instead of mourning great art tainted by awful men, mourn the work we lost from their victims: Some sexual abusers made great art. Countless more of their victims never got the chance.
And that’s why, after seeing so many people’s default response be to question whether it’s okay to retain their fondness for C.K.’s past work, I can safely say have zero interest in this debate.

All the stories I’ve read about a man who’s been accused of using his power to belittle, subdue, or assault people — no matter who it’s about, no matter which industry it happened in, no matter when the alleged incident(s) took place — have one thing in common. They all feature victims who were intimidated, bullied, or outright forced into leaving their dreams and ambitions behind while the men responsible moved forward. They all feature a graveyard of potential cut short by careless cruelty.

It’s true that a lot of great art will now forever be marred by disturbing subtext concerning its creators — subtext that might hinder your enjoyment of it. But what about the people they targeted, whose resulting trauma affected their chances or ability to advance their careers and pursue their dreams? What about the great art we lost?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:17 PM on November 15 [28 favorites]


"Instead of mourning great art tainted, mourn the work we lost." Yes, and instead of continuing to fuck with the tainted shit, seek the pure stuff. The best thing about this news is that it raised awareness about the second season of One Mississippi being out. I had been a low-information television consumer for too long. Unfortunately I of course gorged the whole thing in a day and now I am desperate for more Tig.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:41 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


The very best thing about this whole shitshow is that very few people seem to be rehashing the art/artist conversation and it'd be so cool if we continued down that way
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:44 PM on November 15 [1 favorite]



On a separate note, it is utterly incomprehensible to me that some women defend men who are accused of assault/rape/abuse/molestation by trashing and blaming the accusers and perpetuating rape culture.


you wrote two full fucking serious thoughtful paragraphs right before this about why men do bad things, why they perpetuate rape culture through precisely targeted areas of silence, why feeling guilty or uncertain about their own pasts makes them behave in ways a less generous man might find difficult to, what is the word, comprehend. you worked all that out and it looked pretty easy.

men's faults and failings and sins, there's got to be an explanation. all we have to do is just think about it a little bit, and remember conversations we've had with good and decent men who maybe don't exactly remember if they ever violated anybody but they're sure thinking about it as hard as they can. makes sense, right?

but women doing bad things? incomprehensible.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:56 PM on November 15 [14 favorites]


Perhaps there needs to be more of a mea culpa here: Sarah Silverman on Louis CK: 'Can you love someone who did bad things?'

Sarah had extremely good reason to believe the rumours about LCK but apparently never said anything about them, even privately. So it's great that she's making a principled stance, but where was she before?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:21 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


I will add one more thing- which is that I was verbally told that my presence + refusal to continue a sexual relationship was responsible for the behavior.

Ugh!
posted by elsietheeel at 3:37 AM on November 17


To be clear, that quote ^ was from Laura Silverman, Sarah’s sister who apparently dated Louis 25 years ago on the kind of behavior that Louis exhibited around her in the context of their relationship.
posted by amanda at 6:38 AM on November 17


I refer to my earlier comments, in another thread: Women do not lie about male behavior. We know all your secrets. We are in the room with you.

All people will sometimes exaggerate to be taken seriously. But there’s plenty of truth to go around. What Laura’s statements add is that this was a norm for Louis. One wonders (or doesn’t) at the cause of his marriage breaking up.
posted by amanda at 6:43 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


And now Jeffrey Tambor.
posted by nanook at 9:24 AM on November 17


I'm in the middle of watching the latest season of Transparent and I'll keep watching because it's pretty good. But I can't help reflecting, given Lysette's description, how intensely emotional and sexual are the scripts and storylines that Solloway is having people play.

Also, I've been thinking quite a lot about the character Josh, feeling so overwhelmed by the revelation that his body responding to a situation with arousal is not actually consent. And pairing that with the parallel (or opposing) notion that "your boner is not an emergency."

Can we put the entire nation into group therapy? Just take a break from the economy and figure this shit out?
posted by amanda at 12:58 PM on November 17 [7 favorites]


Can we put the entire nation into group therapy? Just take a break from the economy and figure this shit out?

Yeah. I think we're going to need a truth and reconciliation project.
posted by bunderful at 7:56 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]




Yeah. I think we're going to need a truth and reconciliation project.

Straight up, I think this is a great idea, and an important one. For politicians anyway, it's all going to be wrapped up in partisan politics unless there is an independent investigation, perhaps a special prosecutor.

I mean, right now we have a sitting president and a sitting Supreme Court justice (Thomas) with mutliple, uninvestigated allegations against them. Thomas has a new allegation that came out in October, for behavior while he was on the court, and there were other accusers besides Anita Hill who were not called as witnesses in his confirmation hearing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a full reckoning for multiple accusations against him right before his election as California governor (in 2003) and then just waved it off afterwards. Sick twist: his campaign bus was named Predator, after his hit movie.
posted by msalt at 7:09 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Charlie Rose has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women. My only familiarity with his work/personae is seeing the CBS This Morning montages Last Week Tonight has done in a few LWT episodes, which show Rose and his co-hosts indulging in flirty/suggestive talk. LWT was highlighting it because it was bizarre, I suppose, but it grossed me out. So I wasn't surprised at all by the accusations.
posted by orange swan at 8:21 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


You wouldn't see that kind of bad behavior from Jim Lehrer.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:58 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Don't say a name or they'll be next! It's the curse of 2017!
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:03 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I used to do long-form improv back in the day. I was OK in that, though much better at sketch writing and more scripted stuff. Ancillary to that was seeing a lot of stand-ups as the comedy-adjacent scenes started picking up on storytelling. I do have good memories: There was one young man who, we could've been a double act. We were able to tune in with each other in the moment on stage and anytime we did a scene it brought down the house. So great. Another one of my fave moments was seeing a late-night Aziz Ansari set in 2006 at UCB. He was amazing and it was so obvious that he was going to go far.

Lots of the young men in the scene, though, were so obviously angry and sad. There were so many stories I'd hear through the grapevine of weird relationships that seemed one-sided and emotionally exploitative. Personally, I got sick of coming off the wall, and never having an opportunity to start a scene, because, that one young man aside, these young (99.99999% white) guys would jump right in to making me a secretary, or a hooker, or their mom, and working out their shit like it was therapy or something. They'd talk over me in sketch writing classes. There were several guys who treated me one way when they thought I was 20 (I look much younger than most people my age) who treated me 180° differently when they found out I was 35—and I refused to hide my age.

If I spoke to these dudes after shows in a comradely fashion, being friendly and supportive, their responses were weirdly hostile so many times, and it got wearing. Like, it was annoying to them that a woman they didn't want to sleep with dared speak to them like I was actually in comedy and not some appendage or groupie. How much if it was a function of immaturity, I don't know, but the scene didn't seem to support maturity or retrospection.

The handful of people who were great and supportive were not enough to allow me to put up with the sexism in the scene (and also the racism and ageism). I simply got tired and left.

I say all that in sharing this article, because it's asking the same question I did: Why are all the comedy men so awful?
posted by droplet at 7:34 AM on November 21 [15 favorites]


Thanks for the link, droplet. It's a good piece.

I’m tired of comedians martyring themselves. I’m tired of them being overly defensive, misanthropic assholes. And I dread the possibility of C.K. smoothly incorporating all this grossness into his act a year from now on the comeback trail.

Me, too. And while I'm skeptical about the solidity of the research, I thought the result of one experiment was interesting. Apparently research finds men who feel metaphorically impotent, and then assume a position of authority, are more likely to sexually harass subordinates.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:03 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]




That article ("Why are all the comedy men so awful?") was weirdly myopic IMHO. The author defined comedy as equivalent to his list of a dozen infamously misogynist comics over the decades (going back to Richard Pryor), who he identified as his heroes, while ignoring 98% of all comics, not just every woman or queer comic, but also swathes of non-misogynists such as Dave Chappelle, Eddie Izzard, Robin Williams, Steven Wright, Jake Johannsen, George Carlin, W. Kamau Bell, Kyle Kinane, Jim Gaffigan, Hannibal Burress, Mike Birbiglia, Hari Kondabalu, etc. etc. etc.

There are plenty of damaged individuals in comedy, especially at the lower levels, and most are men of course. But the people he cherry-picked are the outliers. The author never quite achieves the big picture insight he aspires to, and his reduction of all comedy to "a laugh hunt" and his embrace of heckling are ignorant.

I can't tell if he himself is a standup -- he self-describes as a humor columnist, but his Deadspin page says "Drew Magary’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season." (Example: "Do People Really Pee Standing Up Before Pooping? A Deadspin Investigation.") So I guess I'm not really inclined to accept him as an expert on the gendered flaws of standup comedy quite yet.
posted by msalt at 12:57 PM on November 21


Those men on your list? I don't think you could classify all of them as non-misogynists.

Kinane made a disappointing unfunny joke post-Louis.
Hannibal was silent post-Louis (heartbreaking...my cat is named Hannibal).
Carlin was a sexist.

Here are some male comedians who spoke out about LCK: W. Kamau Bell, PFT (vehemently!), Paul Scheer, Kurt Braunohler.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:38 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Hannibal was silent post-Louis

Not coincidentally: Hannibal is also repped by Dave Becky, who was cast as CK's enforcer in some of these pieces. Most comics repped by him have been silent.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:46 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Most, but not all!

Case in point, dear John Mulaney.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:54 PM on November 21


Chappelle also had that lovely joke about trans women tricking men into sleeping with them in his recent Netflix special so screw that guy, too.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:57 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Most, but not all!

True: Pamela Adlon also straight up fired him/3 Arts.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:02 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


There are a LOT of comedians who are still painfully transmisogynistic. I've kinda lost count of the comedy specials that I've noped out of over the last couple of years...the most recent one that comes to mind was the Deon Cole episode of the Netflix series The Standups.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:03 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I need a website like Does the Dog Die, but for sexual predators, so I can know which media I can watch and not turn into a rageball afterwards when I learn about the awfulness of the pieces of shit who are involved with it. Like AskMe's take on the poison content of food, I need a Should I Watch This? filter.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:20 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Here are some male comedians who spoke out about LCK: W. Kamau Bell, PFT (vehemently!), Paul Scheer, Kurt Braunohler.

I’m pretty sure Andy Richter is on that list.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:30 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I’m pretty sure Andy Richter is on that list.

That's entirely likely, but I was only checking out the response from the youths and Andy Richter is old 'n shit!

Mostly kidding. I am also old 'n shit!
posted by elsietheeel at 3:33 PM on November 21


When I lived in Sweden there was an article in one of the daily newspapers about how Quenton Tarantino was in town and got shitfaced and was hitting on some gals in a not attractive way. I won't say he was harassing them because I don't remember the article exactly but I am kind of waiting for additional shoes to drop in all industries. I would write about my shitty ex-boss except nobody cares even now and it's possible my friends who still work there would lose their jobs if that guy got in trouble and the big client took its business elsewhere.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:10 PM on November 21


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