AML people, as you all know by now, it is open season in Hollywood as hundreds of women have come forward accusing powerful male executives of sexual harassment, and assault. The key poster child for this terrible behaviour by Hollywood’s elite has been former power executive Harvey Weinstein whose response to his accusers has just been awful. In addition, what we of course know is that sexual harassment and assault is an epidemic and cuts across industries. Indeed, joining what can best be termed as a modern civil rights movement has been women in politics, medicine, business and many more industry sectors coming forward to also call out their accusers.
In response to these accusations, the accused have deflected, denied, and blamed these alleged victims…that is until Louis C. K.
Louis C.K., a comic, actor and producer bucks the trend by handling his crisis the way I believe it ought to be handled by many in his exact situation who know their accusers are truthful. He owns full responsibility for his actions, apologizes, and is ready to deal with the consequences. His apology and saying, “yes. These stories are true” lets women across the board who have been victims of any kind of sexual assault and harassment breathe a sigh of relief. It is a path towards healing, if it has not already begun. It also gives our society permission to begin and include men in the conversation on how we move forward with creating a society where we can significantly reduce these types of abuses against women.
Read Louis C.K.’s statement:
I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true. 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.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
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.
I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much. The Orchard who took a chance on my movie and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
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.
Thank you for reading.
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