By Isabel Paris | Staff Writer
Nine months have passed since the #MeToo movement swept across the country and the world. Men of varying degrees of power, from the entertainment industry to the political sphere, were accused of sexual assault against their co-workers and other women. Every day a new story was brought to light about someone else who had taken advantage of his role in society. Louis C. K., a famous comedian, was one of these offenders who committed gruesome and disgusting crimes against women with whom he worked.
These offenses had started in 2002 and had only been brought into the light last year. Louis C. K. had made a statement stating his “regret” but never actually said he was sorry. In his address, Louis said: “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” (Louis CK, New York Times).
This so-called apology did little to help his reputation and was not even convincing to the public during its delivery. Just like all the other celebrities before him, Louis seemed remorseful only because he felt like he had to. There was little sympathy in his actions and in his words. Society had not seen or heard from him since last November, and frankly, that is how people have wanted it. Until now.
On the 25th of August, Louis C. K. reappeared in New York City performing a new comedy special. He was invited to speak to at the Comedy Cellar, a famous Manhattan comedy club for comedians and entertainers, and received a standing ovation.
The club owner, Noam Dworman, defended Louis by saying that there should not be a life sentence for someone who “does something wrong” (Vox). First of all, doing something wrong would be lying to a family member or cheating on an exam, not sexually assaulting multiple women and asking if he can masturbate in front of them. Secondly, why would Dworman the day after Louis’s performance say that “he just wants to do the right thing” in bringing good talent? How is bringing back a comedian nine months after being accused of sexual assault and having him joke about rape whistles the right thing?
There has been a lot of backlash against the Comedy Cellar and Louis for returning; however, the support that has been given to Louis is a small herd of male comedians. Comedian Michael Ian Black tweeted three days after the performance that he is “happy to see him try.” SNL actor Michael Che is amazed that people “aren’t satisfied” after Louis being gone for “so long” (Vox). What Che doesn’t realize is that nine months is not a significant amount of time. Actresses and female celebrities have been caught in scandals, and it takes them years to return and land jobs that are even remotely respectable and popular—yet nine months seems to be the perfect time for Louis C. K. to immediately get a job and return gracefully? I want to know why these men feel as though their opinion is what makes it okay for men like Louis C. K. to return as if they were the ones who were assaulted and humiliated all these years.
The problem with C. K.’s return and many other male celebrities that were accused of sexual assault is that they are starting to be welcomed back with little regard for the wrongs of their pasts. Kevin Spacey is starring in the upcoming movie Billionaire Boys Club. Al Franken will probably worm his way back into the political realm or find a job that pays him millions of dollars. Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer will somehow show up on TV once again.