After years of rumors followed the comedian, five women have come forward and accused Louis C.K. of sexual harassment.
Now that these rumors have become outspoken allegations, and now that he's getting slammed by comedians and fans alike, Louis C.K. is making a statement.
And he's ... admitting to it. To all of it.
Louis C.K.'s statement gets right to the point:
"I want to address the stories told to The New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not."
Here it comes:
"These stories are true."
We've all wondered what's must have been going through his mind as he pulled out his penis in front of various women.
(We no longer have to write "allegedly" for him!)
Louis C.K. provides a little insight:
"At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true."
That ... sounds like some bizarre mental gymnastics were going on in his mind to excuse his behavior.
The sort of excuse that only he himself could buy.
"But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them."
Power can mean professional authority. It can mean celebrity status. It can even mean physical strength and size.
Remember, folks: the cashier or barista smiles at you because it's literally part of her job, not because she wants to see your genitals.
"The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions."
Louis C.K.'s statement continues:
"I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position."
One of those women said that the experience discouraged her from pursuing her career in comedy.
"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."
That "widely admired" bit sounds a little like self-praise, which is not tonally appropriate ... but maybe he's just trying to make sure that people understand that he knows that it was wrong and why?
"I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it."
A lot of men never think about the damage that they do.
"There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with."
"I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work."
"The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else."
Well, maybe his hardest regret.
"And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them."
Louis C.K.'s actions are now impacting more than just himself and these women. Remember, HBO gave him the axe.
"I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You, Daddy."
That's a lot of people screwed over, professionally, because Louis C.K. couldn't keep it in his pants (literally).
"I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused."
If you don't want to negatively impact the people who consider it their job to clean up your messes, maybe don't make messes.
(Some have pointed out that Louis C.K.'s wealth is in the 8 digits, and that he mgiht want to cut some checks to the people whom he's left hanging)
"I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years."
We cannot imagine how his family is feeling right now.
"I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother."
Louis C.K. finishes off his statement with this:
"I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen. Thank you for reading."
It's good that he's admitting this, and a refreshing change from endless denials in Hollywood, but we'd like to point out a couple of things:
One: if there was a actual, explicit apology in this, we don't think that we saw it. Maybe it's implied, but that's actually not how apologies work. You have to say them.
Two: some have pointed out that Louis C.K. could have spoken out years ago when Gawker (before the site was destroyed by a vengeful, Trump-supporting billionaire) first talked about these rumors. Or in the summer of 2016, when Roseanne Barr spoke about it.
It almost seems, to some, that Louis C.K. was less concerned about how his actions impacted these women ... and was only moved to speak up because it's now hurting his career.
That's a cynical view, but ... you can see why people feel that way.
Especially people who have their own #MeToo stories and will never trust the people responsible for them.