Embattled comedian Louis C.K. issued a statement to the media on Friday addressing the bombshell New York Times report in which five women, four of them who identified themselves in the story, accused the popular comic of sexual misconduct, having forced them to watch him masturbate at various points over the years.
“These stories are true,” the comic said in the statement. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The Times report, even before it was published, triggered sweeping fallout for Louis C.K., as the New York premiere of his new film I Love You, Daddy was canceled, he was dropped from an appearance on CBS’ Late Show, and HBO dumped him from a comedy benefit he was slated to appear in and said his work would be purged from the network’s on-demand services. Meanwhile, friends and peers from the comedy world, and many from other industries, expressed their disappointment with his behavior, which had been something of an open secret.
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.
— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) November 9, 2017
For everybody asking, I know and like Louis C.K. I won't defend him. This is inexcusable and he needs to address it. https://t.co/wyA5ImeDO7
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 9, 2017
Louis CK, Roy Moore, it's like one every half hour now. MAYBE IT FINALLY IS THE END OF MEN.
— Hanna Rosin (@HannaRosin) November 9, 2017
“There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with,” he added in the statement, and concluding, “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.”
And he will certainly have the time to listen. On Friday, amid widespread condemnation, The Associated Press reported that the release of his film has now been canceled. Below, read Louis C.K.’s complete statement, which was posted on Twitter by CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy.
Statement from Louis CK: "These stories are true" pic.twitter.com/sa13jf8MZv
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 10, 2017