It was reported yesterday that Louis C.K. came out of hiding Sunday night for 15 minutes. After being outed last November by the N.Y. Times for being a weenie wagger and then confessing to same a few days later, the 51 year old comedian performed a surprise 15-minute set at Manhattan’s The Comedy Cellar.
The message was “okay, I took myself out of circulation nine months ago for good reason, but now that I’ve done some isolation time — call it a meditative prison sentence — I’d like to begin to inch my way back into performing again…is that cool or, you know, what do you think?”
Guys seem willing to cut him a little slack while women are like “what, he’s back already?”
HE’s view is “well, what he did was obviously grotesque, but how many months of living in the shadows does he have to commit to before he’s allowed to start performing again? He didn’t kill, rape or sexually stalk or harass anyone, at least not on a sustained basis. And he didn’t expose himself to children. He copped to being a creep and threw himself on the church steps. He needed to go away, obviously, but what kind of a sentence does he need to serve? A year? Two years?”
Is the general #MeToo position that he deserves (a) a death sentence, (b) a life of wandering in the desert like Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, (c) five or ten years of wandering or (d) something less severe?
Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman told the Times’ Melena Ryzik that “there can’t be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong.”
What Louis C.K. did with those women who spoke to the N.Y. Times wasn’t just hurtful and offensive — it was astonishing. Before that story ran I’d never even heard of a guy whipping it out as a form of foreplay or whatever. My reaction was “who does that?”
But it seems to me that as long as Louis C.K. understands and restates what a completely asinine and beyond-the-pale thing it was to have done that, and pledges that he will never, ever get close to even thinking about unzipping his fly in front of an unsuspecting woman friend ever again, I think he should be allowed back into the showbiz world after, say, a full year has passed. Wait another three months and say, “Okay, that happened, I was a huge asshole but I’ve really and truly learned my lesson and I want to live again.”