Throughout the past year, the #MeToo movement exposed famous men that have performed acts of sexual misconduct or assault in order to make victims feel empowered. Among those accused was comedian Louis C.K., who was accused of sexual misconduct by five separate women in 2017. After confirming that the stories were true, he has already jumped back on stage less than a year later.
According to The New York Times, C.K performed a short 15-minute set at a comedy club where he used to frequent. When he first entered the stage, he was greeted by a standing ovation from the audience, before even beginning his comedy performance.
The allegations against C.K. originally came to light last November, and two of the five women who accused him of sexual misconduct described how C.K exposed himself to them and proceeded to jack off in front of them. C.K did not deny these allegations, admitting, “These stories are true” in his official statement released soon after the victims came forward.
Although many companies, such as Netflix and FX, cut ties with the comedian after the stories surfaced, many fans expressed on Twitter that it seems that C.K. was “forgiven and forgotten” of his past actions too fast.
Melanie Bracewell, a comedian from New Zealand, tweeted, “I’ve taken longer breaks from comedy just to escape gross men for a while than Louis C.K. did for being a gross man.”
I've taken longer breaks from comedy just to escape gross men for a while than Louis CK did for being a gross man.
— Melanie Bracewell (@meladoodle) August 28, 2018
Another Twitter user tweeted, “If a coworker sexually assaulted you at the office, then turned up unannounced after a ten-month vacation, and just sat down at his desk and resumed working, and everyone welcomed him back with applause, that’d be pretty f—– up. This is exactly what happened with Louis C.K.”
Users also connected this example with the issues of the current political climate, with tweets such as, “Louis C.K. back on stage. Kevin Spacey back on screen. What’s next? One of these guys accused of sexual assault will be able to become president or someth…”
Louis CK back on stage. Kevin Spacey back on screen. What's next? One of these guys accused of sexual assault will be able to become president or someth….
— Francis Maxwell (@francismmaxwell) August 28, 2018
The point of the #MeToo movement is to come forth with sexual assault allegations to make women feel as though they are not alone and to give men in power the punishment they deserve, yet in situations such as this, it seems as though C.K. got off too easy. Comedian Michael Ian Black tweeted, “People have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives.”
While this may be true, many people believe that C.K. did not face the consequences of his actions, as he returned to comedy so quickly, and other than releasing one statement in November, he did not do much to regain his reputation or help the women he assaulted.
Assault is not temporary, it is something that will affect the women involved for their entire lives, so C.K. should not be able to get off after eight months and return to life as usual. Men like this need face ramifications for their actions, so no one else has to say #MeToo.