On Thursday afternoon, the New York Times released a story about sexual harassment allegations against comedian Louis C.K. Most big-name comedians have remained silent on the subject so far, but others in the entertainment industry are reacting, and let's just say there isn't a lot of shock over the accusations that the "Louie" creator allegedly masturbated in front of multiple women.
Rumors about C.K. had been circulating for years, most explicitly in a Defamer story written in 2015. So when the premiere of the comedian's new movie, "I Love You Daddy," was canceled along with an appearance on Stephen Colbert, something was clearly up. That something was the Times exposé with allegations from five women.
As the article recounted, women in the comedy industry who were allegedly harassed by C.K. were open about what happened to them. And yet, people didn't want to hear what they had to say.
"Guys were backing away from us," Julia Wolov said in the story. Wolov alleges that, while at a comedy festival in 2002, she and a friend were invited to C.K.'s hotel room, where he disrobed and masturbated in front of them. The next day, when the two women started telling other comedians what had happened, "we could already feel the backlash."
Other women are chiming in with similar stories about being silenced.
"I was told to delete a tweet I wrote about Louis CK abusing women before I applied to a high-profile comedy job because the people conducting the hiring process might not like it. These women who have spoken up are brave, and we owe them so much," tweeted Nicole Silverberg.
Jen Kirkman, who has been linked to C.K. allegations for years - though she insisted more recently that he never exposed himself to her - also weighed in:
"Though he apologized for his one time comment to me, I will no longer casually call Louie a friend. I can't support what I now KNOW are his contributions to the power dynamic in this business."
Even "Parks and Recreation" co-creator Michael Schur admitted that he knew about the rumors but cast C.K. anyway. On Twitter, he expressed remorse over that decision:
"I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry."
"Seinfeld" comedian Jason Alexander also delivered a Twitter PSA to other men in comedy:
"Gentlemen, comedy is often inappropriate. It is sometimes daring and audacious and shocking. But our behavior, in the real world, toward women - that doesn't get a pass on inappropriate."
And Judd Apatow lamented the way harassment forces talented people to give up on the industry:
"This to me was one of the saddest parts of the Louis CK story in the @nytimes. When you disrespect and sexually harass young, vulnerable people you become a dream killer."
Meanwhile, actor James Urbaniak dug up an old Q&A with Jon Stewart, in which an audience member asks why Stewart didn't ask C.K. about harassment allegations on "The Daily Show." (Stewart pleaded ignorance.)
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