Louis CK Admits to Sexual Misconduct as Media Companies Cut Ties

Even as Louis C.K. remained one of the most popular and influential performers in comedy – he has won multiple Emmy Awards for his stand-up specials and his semi-autobiographical FX series, “Louie” – rumors about his misconduct had persisted for several years.


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In a substantial rebuke, the FX Networks and FX Productions, which produce and broadcast several of his television shows, said Friday they were ending their association with him. His overall production deal with FX was canceled, and he lost his role as executive producer – as well as the compensation that came with that title – on the FX comedy shows “Better Things” and “Baskets,” the Amazon series “One Mississippi,” and a TBS animated series, “The Cops.”

The “One Mississippi” star Tig Notaro, who had earlier criticized Louis C.K. for not addressing his behavior, said after learning of FX’s decision, “My response is the lyrics to Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now.’ May the dark clouds continue to move.”

Pamela Adlon, the star of “Better Things,” which she created with Louis C.K., a frequent performer in his work (including his film “I Love You, Daddy”), said on Friday that she was troubled by Louis C.K.’s admission. “My family and I are devastated and in shock after the admission of abhorrent behavior by my friend and partner, Louis C.K.,” Ms. Adlon said in a statement. “I feel deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward. I am asking for privacy at this time for myself and my family. I am processing and grieving and hope to say more as soon as I am able.”

TBS said in its own statement that production on “The Cops,” which was planned for a 2018 debut, had been “suspended until further review.”

Also on Friday, 3 Arts Entertainment, which had been managing Louis C.K., dropped him as a client. Two women who had experienced Louis C.K.’s misconduct believed that his manager, Dave Becky, wanted them to stop talking about their encounter with him. Mr. Becky denied making threats toward them.

And Lewis Kay, who had been the comedian’s publicist, said in a Twitter post Friday, “As of today, I no longer represent Louis C.K.”

In their statement, the FX companies said, “Louis has now confirmed the truth of the reports relating to the five women victimized by his misconduct, which we were unaware of previously.”

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The companies added, “As far as we know, his behavior over the past eight years on all five series he has produced for FX Networks and/or FX Productions has been professional.”

They continued, “However, now is not the time for him to make television shows. Now is the time for him to honestly address the women who have come forth to speak about their painful experiences, a process which he began today with his public statement.”

In that statement, Louis C.K. did not offer apologies to the women who shared their stories with The Times.

He said, however, “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. 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.”

Louis C.K. also said he needed to acknowledge “the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with.”

Harassment Claims

He added, “I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.”

Louis C.K. is just one of several powerful men who have recently faced rapid consequences after media reports brought attention to allegations of their sexual misconduct or harassment. Harvey Weinstein, the film producer and media executive; the actor Kevin Spacey; the filmmaker Brett Ratner; and the journalist Mark Halperin are among the prominent men to have experienced precipitous downfalls as accounts about them accumulated.

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While Louis C.K. was one of the few men to admit to the conduct he’d been accused of, many people found his statement unsatisfactory and wondered why his behavior had not been addressed sooner. The actress Rose McGowan, who has said Mr. Weinstein sexually assaulted her, wrote in a Twitter post on Friday that she had heard stories about Louis C.K. two years ago even though she isn’t connected to the comedy scene. “Industry faux-shock is such a tired lie. I send my strength and love to all women hurt by him and the code of complicity.”

The distributor of Louis C.K.’s coming film, “I Love You, Daddy,” said Friday that it would not go ahead with its Nov. 17 release of the movie. The comedy, which he wrote and directed, was acquired by the entertainment company the Orchard in a $5 million deal. Louis C.K. stars in it as a TV comedy writer opposite John Malkovich as a notorious 68-year-old filmmaker who strikes up an uncomfortable relationship with the writer’s daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz), who has not yet turned 18.

[ Louis C.K. is accused by 5 women of sexual misconduct ]

Following preview screenings of “I Love You, Daddy,” several critics remarked on its troubling sexual politics and how certain scenes seemed to be commenting on Louis C.K.’s own reputation for misconduct.

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Louis C.K. in a scene from “I Love You, Daddy.” The movie’s release, set for Nov. 17, has been canceled.

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The Orchard

HBO said that Louis C.K. had been dropped from the lineup of “Night of Too Many Stars,” a comedy benefit on Nov. 18, and that it had pulled other works of his from its on-demand service.

Netflix, which struck a deal with Louis C.K. to create two new stand-up specials for the streaming service, said on Friday that it will not produce the planned second special. (The first one, “Louis C.K. 2017,” was released in April.)

In a statement, Netflix said, “The allegations made by several women in The New York Times about Louis C.K.’s behavior are disturbing. Louis’s unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand-up special, as had been planned.” Netflix continues to show earlier stand-up performances by Louis C.K.


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