Comedian Louis C.K. is confirming that the sexual misconduct allegations made against him are true and is expressing remorse.
“These stories are true,” he admitted in a statement. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my (penis) without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your (penis) isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The statement comes shortly after news that in the span of barely 24 hours, Louis C.K.’s new film, “I Love You, Daddy,” went from eagerly awaited to shelved. In the wake of a bombshell New York Times story about the comedian’s alleged sexual harassment and abuse of women, C.K.’s movie will not be released.
“The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of ‘I Love You, Daddy,’” the indie film distributor, which had paid $5 million for the rights to the movie, announced in a statement Friday morning.
It’s the first comment from C.K., a Newton native, on the Times story, which included sordid tales told by five women who say the comedian compelled them to watch or listen as he masturbated. Since the Times and The New Yorker wrote exposes about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexually harassing or abusing women, several high-profile entertainment figures have been accused of similar misconduct, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Ed Westwick, Jeffrey Tambor, and Brett Ratner.
The rest of C.K.’s statement reads:
“I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
“I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it. There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.
“I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
“The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with whose professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of ‘Better Things,’ ‘Baskets,’ ‘The Cops,’ ‘One Mississippi,’ and ‘I Love You, Daddy.’ I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much, The Orchard who took a chance on my movie, and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
“I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
“I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen. Thank you for reading.”
C.K., who’d been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct for several years, seemed to be courting controversy with “I Love You, Daddy,” a Woody Allen-style tale of a successful TV producer, played by C.K., whose entitled 17-year-old daughter, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, gets involved — to what extent is unclear — with an aging director accused of rape and pedophilia in the past, played by John Malkovich.
The movie, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, was supposed to have a red-carpet premiere in New York Thursday night, but that was scrapped at the last minute in anticipation of the Times story, which was posted Thursday afternoon.
In the wake of the Times story, C.K.’s HBO projects, including “Lucky Louie,” are being removed from the cable channel’s on-demand services, and the network said C.K. won’t be part of its “Night of Too Many Stars” charity special. Also, C.K.’s stand-up special for Netflix has been canceled.
“The allegations made by several women in The New York Times about Louis C.K.’s behavior are disturbing,” Netflix said in a statement. “Louis’s unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand-up special, as had been planned.”