On Friday, Louis C.K.’s manager, Dave Becky, announced he had severed his connection with the comedian in the wake of a New York Times article detailing several instances of sexual misconduct that C.K. has since admitted in a statement were “true.” But as Slate’s Christina Cauterucci noted, one thing missing from C.K.’s statement, in addition to the word “sorry,” was an acknowledgment of how C.K. had worked to discredit his accusers over the years, right up until the point their words were printed in the New York Times.
Instrumental in that effort, according to the Times article, was Becky, who “arguably wields even more power in comedy than Louis C.K.” and still represents figures like Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, and Amy Poehler. And so Becky has issued a statement of his own, which among other things seems targeted to address the criticisms made of C.K.’s.
I profoundly regret and am deeply sorry for not listening to and not understanding what happened to Dana and Julia. If I had, I would have taken this event as seriously as it deserved to be, and I would have confronted Louis, which would have been the right thing to do.
I am providing this context so that others do not make the same mistake I did. At that time, I heard the story third-hand, and I interpreted the conversation as two women telling a story about a sexual encounter with a then-married Louis. Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual. I misperceived the casual way the story was portrayed to me – instead I should have recognized that it must have been a mask for their unease and discomfort in the face of his detestable behavior. My intent was to seek discretion to protect what I thought was a matter of infidelity. I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover-up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.
In hindsight, I was operating blindly from a one-sided place of privilege. Until last week, I knew only of this one isolated incident. Although this may sound naïve, it is true. Never once, in all of these years, did anyone mention any of the other incidents that were reported recently — I am appalled to learn of these. I have come to realize my status wielded an atmosphere where such news did not reach me, or worse yet, that it seemed such news did not matter to me. It does. It matters tremendously.
I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.