Saturday, September 18, 2021

Louis C.K. Accused of Masturbating in Front of Multiple Women (Report)

Louis C.K. attends Tribeca TV Festival's sneak peek of Better Things at Cinepolis Chelsea on September 22, 2017 in New York City.
Louis C.K. attends Tribeca TV Festival’s sneak peek of Better Things at Cinepolis Chelsea on September 22, 2017 in New York City.

*Five female comedians have told the New York Times that comedian Louis C.K. has exposed his penis and/or masturbated in front of them, with one instance occurring in the production offices of “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” in 2003 and another in the offices of “The Chris Rock Show” in the late 1990s.

Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov said they thought it was a joke when C.K. asked if he could take out his penis during a nightcap in his Aspen hotel room in 2002. “Then he really did it,” Goodman told The Times. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”

When Abby Schachner invited C.K. to one of her 2003 comedy shows, she said she could hear him masturbating as they spoke from inside his office on the series “Cedric the Entertainer Presents.” He started telling her about his sexual fantasies, breathing heavily and talking softly, she claims, and says the call went on for several minutes even thought she “definitely wasn’t encouraging it.” Adding, “You want to believe it’s not happening.”

Rebecca Corry recalled how C.K. asked if he could masturbate in front of her while they were appearing together on a 2005 television pilot. When she pointed out that he had a daughter and pregnant wife, “his face got red and he told me he had issues.” The show’s producers, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, confirmed the incident and though they discussed halting production, they ultimately continued with the show. “What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful,” said Cox of feeling “outrage and shock.” Adding, “My concern was to create an environment where Rebecca felt safe, protected and heard.”

The fifth woman spoke out anonymously, claiming that in the late 1990s when in her early 20s and working in production at “The Chris Rock Show,” writer and producer C.K. asked her repeatedly to watch him masturbate. “It was something that I knew was wrong,” said the woman of sitting in his office while he masturbated in his desk chair during a workday, with others just outside the door. “He abused his power,” she said.

C.K.’s one-time friend, comedian Tig Notaro, also spoke to the Times for their expose. Her Amazon comedy “One Mississippi” is produced under C.K.’s FX Productions-based Pig Newton banner, however, Notaro said she hasn’t spoken to Louis in two years and that he is not involved in the show. Though she didn’t elaborate on what caused their rift, comparisons were drawn between a sexual assault plotline in the second season and long-unsubstantiated rumors linking C.K. to sexual misconduct toward female comedians.

In the episode of “One Mississippi,” a character (played by Notaro’s wife, Stephanie Allynne) is sexually assaulted when her boss masturbates in front of her during a pitch meeting. The scene echoed a past Defamer allegation against C.K. made by anonymous comedians that gained further traction after a Roseanne Barr interview last year. C.K. addressed the claims in a 2016 interview with Vulture, saying, “I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real.”

Notaro told THR they explored sexual assault in the show because, “We wanted to show that you can be assaulted without even being touched. Nothing can be said and you are still horrifically violated and scared.” Adding, “I know it’s very uncomfortable. But it’s not not happening.”

Season 2 premiered on Amazon in September, only a month before the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, opening the floodgates in Hollywood for women, and men, to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment.

Now speaking to the Times, Notaro said she feels “trapped” by her association with C.K., who promoted her now famous “Hello, I Have Cancer” Largo set about her cancer diagnosis in 2012. “He knew it was going to make him look like a good guy, supporting a woman,” she said, adding that she learned of his reputation only after selling One Mississippi to Amazon.

“Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real,” she said by email, “but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.” That includes Goodman and Wolov. Notaro said she is speaking out to support those who have had the courage “to speak up against such a powerful figure… as well as the multitude of women still out there, not quite ready to share their nightmares.”

In the wake of the Times story, tonight’s New York premiere of his upcoming film, “I Love You, Daddy” has been canceled. Reps for the premiere, due to take place at the Paris Theatre, initially cited “unexpected circumstances.”

C.K. wrote, directed and stars in the comedy-drama about a successful TV writer-producer who attempts to stop his 17-year-old daughter’s (Chloe Grace Moretz) growing admiration and relationship with a 68-year-old filmmaker (John Malkovich). The film also stars Pamela Adlon, Rose Byrne, Charlie Day, Edie Falco and Helen HuntControversial dialogue reportedly appears throughout the film, including the use of the N-word by C.K.’s character and multiple jokes about child rape.

C.K. shot the film entirely in secret last June. He also financed the project and edited it as well.

The film’s distributor The Orchard released the following statement Thursday: “In light of the allegations concerning Louis C.K. referenced in today’s New York Times, we are canceling tonight’s premiere of ‘I Love You, Daddy.’ There is never a place for the behavior detailed in these allegations. As a result, we are giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film and continuing to review the situation.”

Additionally, Louis C.K.’s planned appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday was also canceled, with William H. Macy taking his place.

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