Netflix Cancels Louis C.K.'s Stand Up Special Amidst The Sexual Misconduct Allegations
In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations detailed in a New York Times exposé released on Thursday, the streaming site confirmed that Louis C.K.'s upcoming Netflix standup special is canceled. (Bustle reached out to Louis C.K. about the cancelation, but did not receive an immediate response.) In the exposé, five women describe alleged incidents in which they claim the comedian masturbated in front of them, asked if he could masturbate in their presence, or masturbated while he was on the phone with them. Louis C.K.'s publicist Lewis Kay replied to the Times only with, "Louis is not going to answer any questions."
UPDATE 1: On Friday, No. 10, Louis C.K.'s publicist Lewis Kay gave a statement to Bustle in which read:
UPDATE 2: On Friday, FX announced that it is ending its association with C.K. in a statement. It reads in part, "FX Networks and FX Productions are ending our association with Louis C.K. We are cancelling the overall deal between FX Productions and his production company, Pig Newton. He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him – Better Things, Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops."
Soon after, C.K.'s rep, Lewis Kay, announced on Twitter, "As of today, I no longer represent Louis C.K."
EARLIER: Netflix had signed the comedian for two new standup specials, the first of which titled 2017, premiered April 4. However, the streaming giant has decided not to move forward with the second standup special, which was yet to be produced. A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement:
On Friday, Variety reported that distribution company, The Orchard, had also scrapped plans to release C.K.s new movie, I Love You, Daddy in the wake of the allegations. A brief statement made by the indie film company simply said, "The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of I Love You, Daddy."
The alleged incidents as described in the New York Times piece claim sexual misconduct as reportedly taking place as far back as the late '90s. One such claim, made by comedic duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, details how C.K. allegedly invited the two back to his hotel room in 2002 during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. They then allege that while they were in his room that C.K. asked if he could take out his penis. "And then he really did it. He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating," Goodman alleged to the Times.
Another incident was alleged to have taken place in 2005, in which comedian Rebecca Correy claims that C.K. asked if he could masturbate in front her, a request that she reportedly denied. The two were appearing together on a TV pilot executive produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette, both of whom confirmed the alleged incident to the Times. According to the piece, both Cox and Arquette wanted to stall production on the pilot, but Correy wanted to continue. "What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful," Cox said in an email to the publication, "My concern was to create an environment where Rebecca felt safe, protected and heard."
Two further women shared similar allegations regarding C.K. Comedian Abby Schachner claimed that she could allegedly hear the comic masturbating during a 2003 phone call in which he invited her to one of his shows. And an anonymous woman claimed that C.K. repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, to which she agreed. The alleged incident took place in the late '90s, while the two worked on The Chris Rock Show, where C.K. was a writer and producer at the time. "It was something that I knew was wrong," the woman said of the alleged incident, "I think the big piece of why I said yes was because of the culture. He abused his power."
It's worth noting that rumors concerning sexual misconduct allegations against C.K. have been circulating for a while, including an infamous Gawker blind item titled, "Which Beloved Comedian Likes to Force Female Comics to Watch Him Jerk Off?" In 2016, C.K. refused to the address the rumors during an interview with the Times, and said "If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real." With the New York Times allegations, it feels like C.K. may finally have to participate.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.