Will Louis C.K. Address Sexual Misconduct Allegations?
LOS ANGELES, CA – Amazon’s second season of One Mississippi echoes familiar sexual harassment accusations that have been directed at world-famous comedian Louis C.K., who has been credited as the show’s Executive Producer.
One Mississippi is a semi-autobiographical dark comedy on Amazon Video. The series stars the show’s creator Tig Notaro, as herself, as she returns to her hometown and struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person in her life who understood her, her clingy girlfriend and her dysfunctional family. In an interview about the upcoming second season of One Mississippi, Tig explained that “a large part of the plot revolves around sexual assault… [s]pecifically, we see a character forced to sit and watch as a man in power surreptitiously masturbates in front of her in the workplace.”
Tig did not explain whether the plotline is directly derived from these accusations levied against Louis C.K., however, she did note that C.K. “has nothing to do with the show.” Moreover, concerning the issue of whether C.K. will address the sexual harassment allegations, Tig stated, “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… It’s an ongoing issue and in the writers’ room we were very open about the different levels of harassment or assault that we’ve witnessed or experienced… we really feel like we have the opportunity to do something with One Mississippi because it does not stop. And, you know, I walk around doing shows at comedy clubs and you just hear from people left and right of what some big-shot comedian or person has done. People just excuse it.”
Alone, this would not seem like much, however, over the past few years it has been heavily implied that a comedian who matched C.K.’s description was a “known perv.” Eerily, many accounts paint a similar description of events.
In 2012, an anonymous tipster claimed a male comic participated in gender discriminatory conduct when he forced two female comedians to watch him masturbate at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Later in 2014, another anonymous tipster provoking C.K. claimed that he “[took] his penis out in front of uninterested and frightened girls.”
In 2015, in the podcast I Seem Fun, comedian Jen Kirkman brought to light that an exceedingly famous male standup comic had a long history of being gross with women and that no one in the industry is willing to talk about the issue. Kirkman states in the podcast:
“And then I had another guy who is a very famous comic. He is probably at Cosby level at this point. He is lauded as a genius. He is basically a French filmmaker at this point. You know, new material every year. He’s a known perv. And there’s a lockdown on talking about him. His guy friends are standing by him, and you cannot say a bad thing about him. And I’ve been told by people “Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.” If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that. They didn’t threaten it. They just said to me “You know what Jen, it’s not worth it because you’ll be torn apart. Look at the Cosby women.” And this guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard. Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him. And it was really fucked up, and this person was married. So it was not good, and so I hold a lot of resentment.”Oddly, the podcast episode was taken down hours after publishing without explanation.
Also shedding light is the groundbreaking comedian Roseanne Barr who explained in 2016 that Bill Cosby is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exposing comedy abusers. “It’s not just Bill Cosby… Some of the biggest comics, males, are doing some terrible things. And they’re about to get busted.”
Barr theorizes that sexism in comedy never really left but instead was channeled elsewhere as sexual harassment against women is increasingly frowned upon in society. She explained that “Because they couldn’t do that anymore on stage… it got really mutated off,” referring to the typical sexual joking and comments that are thrown around stages and green rooms across the country.
Barr was hesitant before naming names but eventually said, “It’s Louis C.K., locking the door and masturbating in front of women comics and writers. I can’t tell you—I’ve heard so many stories. Not just him, but a lot of them. And it’s just par for the course. It’s just shit women have to put up with.”
Whether that allegations against Louis C.K. are true or not, there seems to be a real problem in the comedy industry that has yet to be solved. This vicious cycle end when more women—and men—stand up and assert their rights and protest the treatment of women.
If you feel like you need help or a way out contact the experienced New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.