Are the Louis CK sexual misconduct rumors true? Did Louis CK commit sexual misconduct?

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Are the Louis CK sexual misconduct rumors true?

A couple of weeks ago, just before Louis CK was set to host the season finale of Saturday Night Live, a couple of cautious pieces about sexual misconduct allegations against him appeared on the internet. Nobody came right out and accused Louis CK of masturbating in front of female comics and then blocking the door with his still-masturbating body when the comics tried to leave, because nobody was willing to name the name “Louis CK” or to name themselves as accusers. But the allegations were there. And, as it turned out, they had been for a couple years. Apparently, this was an open secret in comedy circles: an unpleasant fact that came up every once in awhile.

Then, Louis CK gave a somewhat-controversial SNL monologue, and everyone forgot about the allegations for a minute. That minute has passed, though, because a female comic has come forward to accuse someone of misconduct. It’s a someone who sounds a lot like Louis CK.

Jen Kirkman, a stand-up veteran whose new Netflix special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) has just been released, was apparently supposed to tour with Louis CK a few years ago, but backed out because she was either uncomfortable with the allegations, had had an unpleasant encounter with Louis, or both.

Recently, Kirkman took to her podcast to discuss sexism in a broader contest, and this topic came up. Here’s what she had to say:


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 f*cked up, and this person was married. So it was not good, and so I hold a lot of resentment.


That comes pretty close to naming Louis CK without saying his name at all. He’s gotten praise from all corners for throwing out all the material in each new stand-up special and starting over from scratch once the special’s been released. Louie and all of Louis CK’s film projects–Pootie Tang notwithstanding–are regularly compared to French New Wave film, since Louis CK himself said that European and especially French cinema has had a profound influence on him. And, as far as stature and popularity go, Louis CK is almost certainly the biggest draw in stand-up comedy right now. There might be other comics who sell as many or slightly more tickets–Jerry Seinfeld still does pretty well; Aziz Ansari is coming into his own; Amy Schumer is at about the same level of “hip” that Louis was three or four years ago–but no one in comedy is as beloved by as many different groups of people as Louis CK.

The April 20th podcast is available for streaming or download from Kirkman’s Soundcloud page. The description of the comic in question (plus relevant gender studies / feminist context) begins right around the 30:30 mark:



(Photo credit: Louis CK sexual misconduct via Facebook)

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