Louis C.K.’s attempt at a comeback has not gone unnoticed by activists. The controversial comedian performed Monday night at the Comedy Cellar in New York, drawing a small number of protesters who converged outside the venue.
Unlike his previous post-scandal stand-up sets, which were unannounced, Louis C.K. performed during the club’s 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. shows and his appearances were advertised beforehand, The New York Times reports.
The comedian has mostly kept a low profile since a New York Times story last November alleging he had exposed his genitals and masturbated in front of multiple women; he later released a statement confirming that the stories were true. However, Louis C.K. has made a handful of performances recently, leading at least two women to protest outside of the Comedy Cellar on Monday night, according to The Times.
“When you support Louis C.K., you tell women your laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers,” read a sign carried by protester Jennifer Boudinot, according to the paper.
Another protester, Lana McCrea, carried a sign reading, “Does this sign make you uncomfortable, Louie?”
Louis C.K. “sexually harassed a bunch of women and lied about it for years,” McCrea told The Post when asked why she chose to protest, according to Page Six.
“He shouldn’t feel comfortable performing here when he makes so many people feel uncomfortable because of what he does. He shouldn’t get to feel comfortable,” she said.
Despite the controversy, the crowd gathered inside the venue reacted positively to Louis C.K. when he took the stage, The Times reports. The comedian referenced his sexual misconduct scandal and the fallout during his set, remarking at one point that he lost $35 million “in an hour” when the scandal broke, and referencing going through “hard things” and “hell” at another point, the paper reported.
He began his set by asking the crowd what kind of year they’d had so far. He reportedly continued, “They tell you that when you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are. It’s black people, it turns out. They’ll stick by you.”
Louis C.K.’s return to the stage has sparked furious debate on social media and within the world of comedy. Many comedians have come under fire for suggesting that a comeback is an appropriate move for Louis C.K.. Michael Che came to the former “Louie” star’s defense in August, right around the time that Louis C.K. first began making unannounced appearances at comedy clubs.
“I haven’t talked to [Louis C.K.] in a while,” Che wrote in one Instagram post, according to The Daily Beast. “I don’t know any of his accusers. I don’t know what he’s done to right that situation, and it’s none of my business. But I do believe any free person has a right to speak and make a living.”
Sarah Silverman was lambasted online earlier this month after commenting during an interview that Louis C.K. masturbated in front of her in the past, with consent, and stating that she wanted to see him discuss the scandal on stage.
“I’m not saying everyone should embrace Louis again,” she said, according to The Guardian. “I believe he has remorse. I just want him to talk about it on stage. He’s going to have to find his way or not find his way.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
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