The #MeToo movement seems to have hit a snag with the recent revelation that Weinstein Enemy #1, Asia Argento, is herself an alleged rapist. Of course, there’s nothing to say that a victim of sexual assault can’t become an abuser — that tends to be how it works, generation after generation — but it does complicate the prevailing narrative. Feminists turned Argento into a martyr, a secular saint, but suddenly it’s not that simple. When you put a victim in the spotlight like that, the illumination might reveal more than you intended.
One guy who got caught up in the #MeToo frenzy last year was comedian Louis C.K. We learned that the foundation of his stand-up act, “I am a disgusting sex-creep,” turned out to be true in real life. After a number of women accused C.K. of cornering them and forcing them to watch him masturbate, he admitted to all of it. Then, within a day or two, pretty much everybody he was ever involved with professionally dropped him like a crusty gym sock. His career was over in an instant.
Or was it?
Louis C.K. performed his first stand-up set since publicly admitting to sexual harassment, the New York Times has reported.
According to the Times, C.K. made an unannounced appearance at the Comedy Cellar in New York Sunday night…
[Comedy Cellar owner Noam] Dworman added that C.K. was “very relaxed” and the sold-out audience of about 115 responded well to his appearance, including an ovation before he even performed.
Apparently he’s plotting a come– er, a return.
At the risk of angering feminists even further than they were when they woke up this morning, I think we should try to look at this from Louis C.K.’s perspective. He spent decades building a career. He dedicated himself to his craft, he worked tirelessly for years and years, and he made a name for himself. Is it fair that everything he built was taken away in an instant?
The answer is: Of course it’s fair. Nobody owes Louis C.K. anything. He had a successful career because a lot of people wanted to pay to see his work. If they don’t want to give him their money anymore, if they don’t want to be associated with him in any way, too bad for him. That’s their business.
But there’s another side to that coin: If some people still do want to give him their money, that’s their business too. If they don’t like what he did but still want to see his new material, or if they don’t care at all about what he did, or even if they think what he did was hilarious, that’s up to them. Their wallets, their choice.
You’re pro-choice, aren’t you?
Besides, America tends to forgive all of our famous perverts sooner or later. Hell, remember this scumbag? It took him about 20 years, but he almost got to move back into his old house!
Anyway, I don’t know if I could sit in the same room with Louis C.K. and listen to him talk. I believe him when he says he’s sincerely sorry for what he did. But I also think that if he gets the opportunity to do it again, he will. He’s a sick man and he needs help. He should be on a therapist’s couch, not a barstool in front of a brick wall.
And what about the women he wronged? What about the careers they might have had if he’d behaved professionally? That doesn’t go away just because he put out a press release saying he feels bad about it.
I just don’t think I could sit there and laugh at Louis C.K., for the same reason I don’t think I could drink from an opened can of Coca-Cola offered to me by Bill Cosby. Normally I’m a fan of the product, but… nah.
But if you want to pay to see him, go right ahead. Just make sure he and the audience are separated by a large plexiglass splash guard.