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Louis CK Has Responded to Sexual Misconduct Allegations

'These stories are true'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2017 12:56 PM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2017 3:37 PM CST
Louis CK: Sexual Misconduct Allegations 'Are True'
In this Feb. 28, 2016 file photo, Louis CK arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Louis CK has responded to allegations from five women that he masturbated in front of them: "These stories are true." The comedian released a statement, which can be read here, on Friday—a day after the New York Times published a story about the allegations. Louis CK says he told himself "that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first," but he's since learned that "when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question." He says he had power over his accusers "and I wielded that power irresponsibly." And he admits that while he's "tried to learn" from his actions, he's also "run from them."

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In the statement, Louis CK says the Times story caused him to realize the extent to which he harmed the women. "The hardest regret to live with is what you've done to hurt someone else," he says. "And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them." He also apologizes to others associated with him personally and professionally for bringing this on them. "I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want," he says. "I will now step back and take a long time to listen." Here are some of the responses to Louis CK's statement:

  • The New York Times reports many have found the statement to be "unsatisfactory" as Louis CK never actually apologizes to the women who shared their story with the Times.
  • And Times reporter Nick Corasaniti tweets that Louis CK is only admitting his actions now because he's been forced to. Just two months ago, he told the Times the accusations against him were "rumors, that's all."
  • Danette Chavez at the AV Club states Louis CK "still seems unclear about the extent of his wrongdoing," ignores that he never actually got consent from his victims, and makes a promise to take a step back that is "a less voluntary move than he seems to think."
  • Comedy duo and Louis CK accusers Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov tweeted a simple response to his statement: "You asked but we never said yes."

  • Another accuser, Rebecca Corry, retweeted this thought from comedy writer Katie Rich: "If a woman wants to see your penis she will tell you."
  • "In a sad way, [Louis CK's] work makes even more sense to me now," writes Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post. She highlights a joke from his stand-up about how "there is no greater threat to women than men" and episodes of his show Louie in which he's alternately the victim of sexual assault and the perpetrator of it. She now realizes Louis CK doesn't come to those situations from a place of empathy, as hoped, but from personal experience.
  • Vox looks even more closely at the latter episode mentioned above. "Louis CK wasn’t trying to hide anything from us. It was all right there in 'Pamela, Part 1.'" The episode's centerpiece scene opens up with Pamela Adlon's character asking Louis CK's character to not masturbate in front of her, at least while she's awake. "Now, it’s hard to escape just how much the scene plays like it tiptoes up to the edge of a confession and then decides Louie is probably okay," Vox states.
  • Finally, Quartz, which accuses Louis CK of using his statement "to paint himself as suffering and worthy of sympathy" while repeatedly mentioning how "admired" he is, edits the statement "in order to make it a real apology."
(Read more Louis CK stories.)

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