As soon as comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov sat down in Louis C.K.'s room, "still wrapped in their winter jackets and hats, Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis," according to an explosive New York Times exposé which chronicles much of the popular comedian's lewd and predatory behavior toward women.
But the women are just two of five who spoke with Times reporters, and it seems Rome (read: Hollywood) is burning, if recent reports about sexual assault allegations that have felled the careers of Tinseltown heavyweights Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey––to name a couple––are any indication.
C.K., Goodman and Wolov reveal, seems to have an addiction to masturbating in front of women without their consent. (Interestingly enough, jokes about masturbating in front of women are among the long running gags of C.K.'s wildly popular standup performances.)
Goodman and her colleague--who were invited to C.K.'s room for what they thought was a business opportunity after he watched their standup--told reporters that C.K. “proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”
The three other women who spoke to Times reporters, a group which includes comedians Abby Schachner and Rebecca Corry, as well as a victim who chose to remain anonymous to shield her family from the publicity, shared eerily similar stories. (Corry, for example, recalled when C.K. asked if he could masturbate in front of her while they worked on a television pilot in 2005. She declined.)
Several times, the report continues, C.K. apologized for his behavior, as if to lighten the severity, by saying, "I know I have a problem."
C.K., a six-time Emmy Award winner, has sold out Madison Square Garden eight times and has been widely revered for his brand of observational––and often self-deprecating––brand of comedy. As expected, many fans don't appear to be taking these revelations well.
it's so disappointing to say farewell to my comedic hero, louis ck, the guy who engineers his entire life around cramming the n-word into his overrated comedy routines. I was really rooting for him. an absolute inspiration.— Mitra Jouhari (@tweetrajouhari) November 9, 2017
The Times notes C.K. had associates--in this case his manager and agents--who used intimidation and scare tactics to silence the women, knowing full well he was a predator.
Most unsettlingly: Most everyone in Hollywood knew. Unsubstantiated rumors that C.K. had a habit of masturbating in front of unwitting females circulated for years. In fact, the now defunct Gawker published a blind item on C.K. which highlights much of the behavior the Times report discusses:
Male comedians are weird. They jerk off all the time, and then go on stage and talk about jerking off all the time, for money and laughs. But our nation's most hilarious stand-up comic and critically cherished sitcom auteur adds a thrilling twist to his onanistic escapades: He traps unsuspecting women in his hotel room and makes them stick around until he's done
We've heard from several sources that this shameless funnyman whips it out at the most inopportune moments, often at times when his female companions have expressed no interest in watching him go at it. A representative example: At the Aspen Comedy Festival a few years ago, he invited a female comedy duo back to his hotel room. The two ladies gladly joined him, and offered him some weed. He turned it down, but asked if it would be OK if he took his dick out.
Thinking he was joking (that's exactly the kind of thing this guy would say), the women gave a facetious thumbs up. He wasn't joking. When he actually started jerking off in front of them, the ladies decided that wasn't their bag and made for the exit. But the comedian stood in front of the door, blocking their way with his body, until he was done.
Naturally, Social media erupted with thoughts.
We are, I am guessing, hours from all the Louis CK stories breaking and I will admit, this one, I've been waiting for.— roxane gay (@rgay) November 9, 2017
For all the people asking why women don't come forward about sexual assault, look at the history of these Louis CK claims. Women have been speaking up for years and their careers have suffered for it. Believe women.— abby russell (@ybbaaabby) November 9, 2017
I have been contacted many times recently asking me to make statements or write about Louis CK or sexual harassment in comedy, and maybe I'm a crank but it doesn't feel like support. It feels like wolves. You want to support? COME TO A SHOW.— Eliza Skinner (@elizaskinner) November 9, 2017
Didn't we know about Louis CK for years? I remember a story on prob Jezebel & it was full of ppl w similar stories in the comments.— Bingo! (@MarzipanPiPlate) November 10, 2017
C.K., who is the father of two daughters, has a lot of explaining to do... though we have to acknowledge that in actuality the Times is a tad late on the telling.
So we have to ask ourselves, what happened? What took so long? Thanks to the work of numerous reporters and the women brave enough to speak to them, we've seen a floodgate of survivors come forward since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein (an open secret in Hollywood) made national headlines. A floodgate was opened. But why did people turn a blind eye for so long? And why do we allow powerful men to retain their power?
Adding insult to injury: C.K. was slick. He hid in plain sight. He used his "problem" as part of his act, almost daring audiences to see.
My disappointment w/ #louisck allegations is not because he's the greatest working standup today. His comedy always talks about the trials of being a horny & frustrated white male. But he also talks about trying to do the 'right thing'. My image of him as a morallist, shattered pic.twitter.com/GFSYNRBYYb— Petr Misan (@petrmisan) November 10, 2017
I remember when I found out louis ck and his brand of humor is toxic. It was after I tried it on me and it drove people away— Jacob Breck (@JacobBreck) November 10, 2017