After reemering in the public eye following the fallout from a high-profile #MeToo moment in which he admitted to allegations of sexual misconduct, Louis C.K. has once again become a lightning rod for controversy. The 51-year-old comedian is facing harsh criticism following the spread of leaked audio from a recent stand-up set, during which he can be heard targeting survivors of this year’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, as well as people with learning disabilities and those that use alternative, gender-fluid pronouns.
“They testify in front of Congress, these kids, what the f*ck? What are you doing?” C.K. can be heard saying in a short audio clip making the rounds on Twitter. “You're not interesting 'cause you went to a high school where kids got shot, why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta listen to you talking?”
Seventeen students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were killed on Feb. 14 when a former student, Nikolas Cruz, allegedly opened fire in the institution’s hallways. Following the tragic shooting, a number of Parkland students have become political activists, and have repeatedly used their platforms to call for stricter gun control laws.
The user who originally uploaded audio of C.K.’s controversial set to YouTube on Sunday claimed to have recorded it during a Dec. 19 performance, Forbes reports.
It has since been deleted, and the comedian has yet to comment publicly about the recording.
After the publication of a New York Times report detailing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, Louis C.K. personally confirmed that the accusations, which included masturbating in front of female comics, were true, and seemed to willfully recede from the spotlight last year.
His self-prescribed break didn’t lasted long, however; the disgraced comic embarked on what appeared to be the early stages of a comeback in August by performing at New York area comedy clubs, at times doing so unannounced (and sparking protests).
Louis C.K. seems to be embracing his status as a controversial figure, however. Leaked audio of his reportedly recent set also features the comedian taking aim at individuals who use they/them pronouns, according to Forbes.
“They’re like royalty. They tell you what to call them. ‘You should address me as they/them. Because I identity as gender neutral,’” he reportedly said. “Okay. You should address me as ‘there,’ because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother’s c*nt. It doesn’t have to be that nasty, but it can be.”
C.K.’s set seemed to spare no demographic, with the comic, at turns, complaining about the use of the term “intellectually challenged” to describe children with developmental disabilities, and launching into extended commentary about penis size in relation to race, according to Slate's report.
While the audio has sparked intense backlash on Twitter — including from fellow comedians — the live audience seemed to approve of his new brand of controversy, judging by the laughter that can be heard in the various audio clips that have been shared on social media.
Fred Guttenberg, a Florida man whose daughter Jaime was killed during the Parkland shooting, had a personal message for C.K. shortly after the audio began to circulate.
“To anyone who knows Louis C.K., please deliver this message for me,” he wrote on Twitter. “My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss every day. Why don't you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes?”
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
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