Louis C.K. latest star to be accused of sexual misconduct
Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of sexual misconduct toward several women, including masturbating in front of them to their horror and embarrassment, according to a report in the New York Times.
Comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov, Rebecca Corry allege the Emmy-winning star either masturbated in front of them, asked to do it or did so over the phone. A fifth woman detailed her allegations against C.K. to the paper but was not identified.
A representative for the comedian said C.K. would issue a written statement in the coming days.
Schachner, who said she heard C.K. masturbating on the phone in 2003, declined comment and representatives for the other three named women did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Corry alleges the comedian, while she was working on a TV pilot in 2005, asked “if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me”. She declined “and he told me he had issues”.
The show’s executive producers, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, confirmed Corry’s account to the Times. In anticipation of the report, the New York premiere of C.K.’s new film I Love You, Daddy was cancelled yesterday and C.K.’s scheduled appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert also has been scrapped.
The small distribution company handling the release of I Love You Daddy said it is reviewing the situation and giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film.
HBO announced that C.K. would no longer be participating in Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs, set to air on the cable channel on November 18. HBO also said it will remove C.K.’s past projects from its On Demand services.
C.K. is among the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. Soon, others began to come forward with stories, ranging from unwanted advances to assault, against big-name executives and entertainers.
Hollywood’s growing sexual harassment scandal has prompted Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to announce the establishment of a task force to handle any resulting criminal complaints.
The industry group Women in Film also announced yesterday that it plans to launch a “help line” and panel of pro-bono legal professionals to provide counselling, referrals and legal advice to harassment victims. The free service is expected to be available beginning on December 1.
Unsubstantiated rumours about behaviour similar to that described by the Times have circulated online for years about C.K. In September, he told the Times: “They’re rumours, that’s all it is. If you actually participate in a rumour, you make it bigger and you make it real.”
Some notable comics have also talked publicly about his reputation. Tig Notaro said in August: “I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that, because it’s serious to be assaulted. It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious.”
C.K. appeared on several episodes of Parks and Recreation in 2012 and creator Mike Schur apologised yesterday for including C.K.
On Twitter, he admitted to hearing rumours but still using the comedian. “I’m sorry,” he wrote.
C.K. and Weinstein join director and producer Brett Ratner, screenwriter and director James Toback and journalist Mark Halperin in being accused by women of masturbating in front of them.
James Cantor, the director of the Toronto Sexuality Centre and an associate professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, told CNN: “This is exhibitionism, an extreme form of it.” He added that for these men, “it’s more like privilege”, because their position allowed them to get away with it. AP