Comic Louis C.K. is the latest artist to be ensnared in allegations of sexual misconduct, joining a growing list of Hollywood power players including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner and James Toback, among others.
Rumors of inappropriate behavior have dogged C.K., star of multiple comedy specials and the TV show “Louie,” for years. On Thursday, five women went on the record to accuse the Emmy-winning comedian of inappropriate sexual behavior, according to an investigation published in the New York Times.
Hours ahead of the report’s publication, Thursday’s New York premiere of C.K.’s film “I Love You, Daddy” was canceled, as was his scheduled appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
Actresses and comedians Dana Min Goodman, Julia Wolov, Abby Schachner, Rebecca Corry and a fifth woman who remained anonymous shared their stories in the New York Times’ Weinstein-style exposé. Each of the women, several of whom once looked up to C.K., alleged incidents of him masturbating — or requesting to — in front of them.
C.K.’s publicist, Lewis Kay, did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Thursday afternoon. Nor did his manager, Dave Becky, or representatives for FX and Amazon, where C.K. has developed projects.
Goodman and Wolov alleged that C.K. masturbated in front of the two of them in an Aspen hotel room in 2002, but said they did not report the incident to the police because they weren’t sure if the behavior was criminal. They felt the need to respond in some way “because something crazy happened to us,” Goodman told the newspaper.
The women’s stories were corroborated by friends and family members who spoke to the New York Times about the allegations.
The 50-year-old C.K., real name Louis Szekely, has frequently discussed and mimed masturbation in his stand-up routines, often referring to the “constant perverted sexual thoughts” he has. When stories of alleged misconduct went public over the last few years, C.K. dismissed them as “rumors.”
Comedian Tig Notaro, who worked with him on her Amazon comedy “One Mississippi,” has been among the few who have spoken out against the comedian prior to Thursday’s report. Actress-comedian Roseanne Barr has also decried C.K.’s purported reputation.
Meanwhile, the effect of the report has been swift.
“There is never a place for the behavior detailed in these allegations,” the Orchard, which is distributing “I Love You, Daddy,” said in an email. “As a result, we are giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film and continuing to review the situation.”
Actress Chloë Grace Moretz, who stars in “I Love You, Daddy,” pulled out of all film promotion two weeks ago “when she was made aware of numerous possible accusations,” the young star’s publicist told The Times.
“I Love You Daddy,” which has been drawn comparison to Woody Allen’s work, was set to open Nov. 17 and has already been mired in controversy because of its touchy subject matter. C.K. plays a father concerned about his underage daughter’s possible sexual involvement with a much-older man.
In February, Netflix announced it would be the exclusive home of two of C.K.’s stand-up comedy specials, the first of which was released April 4. Netflix has not commented on the fate of the second special.
Times staff writers Libby Hill and Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.
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