Louis C.K.: ‘I wielded power irresponsibly’

Louis C.K. attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 28, 2016. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI

Nov. 10 (UPI) — Louis C.K. issued a statement Friday in reaction to allegations of sexual misconduct, saying he feels “remorseful” of his actions.

The comedian’s admission came in reaction to a New York Times report Thursday in which five women accused him of being sexually inappropriate with them. In each case he either asked them to watch him masturbate, or did so in front of them or while on the phone.

C.K. said that he learned too late in life that being sexually inappropriate with someone he has power over is “a predicament for them.”

“The power I had over these women is that they admired me,” he wrote. “And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions.”

Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, a comedy duo, said C.K. undressed and masturbated in front of them in his hotel room after they performed at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., in 2002. They said he asked for permission and they thought he was joking at first.

“And then he really did it.”

They said they were later told by his manager, Dave Becky, not to tell other people what happened, and they felt like they were never able to work on any productions C.K. or Becky were involved with.

Comedian Abby Schachner said that in 2003, she heard C.K. masturbate while she spoke to him on the phone, and another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said he asked her if he could masturbate in front of her while they worked on a television pilot in 2005.

A fifth accuser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Times that C.K. repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate while they worked on “The Chris Rock Show” in the late 1990s. She said she agreed to, but knew it was wrong.

“I think the big piece of why I said yes was because of the culture,” she said. “He abused his power.”

“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,” C.K. said Friday.

“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,” he concluded.

Indie film company The Orchard announced Friday it will no longer release C.K.’s film, ‘I Love, You Daddy.”

“The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of’ I Love You, Daddy,'” the company said in a statement Friday.

The film was written and directed by C.K., who was also set to star alongside Charlie Day, John Malkovich, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rose Byrne, Edie FalcoHelen Hunt and Pamela Adlon. The story centered around C.K. attempting to stop an older filmmaker (Malkovich) from dating his teenage daughter (Moretz).

The cancellation of “I Love, You Daddy” comes after The Orchard scrapped the project’s Thursday premiere hours before The New York Times report. The film was set to open theatrically on Nov. 17 in limited release before going wide.

Leading up to the cancellation, the film’s cast began to drop out of promoting the film including Moretz and Day.

“I was as appalled as everyone to read the allegations made in the New York Times,” Day said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “I do not condone sexual misconduct and, in light of the allegations, will not be promoting the movie further.”

HBO in a statement noted that it will no longer be working with C.K.

“Louis C.K. will no longer be participating in the ‘Night of Too Many Stars America Unites for Autism Programs,’ which will be presented live on HBO on November 18,” HBO said. “In addition, HBO is removing C.K.’s past project from its On Demand services.”

FX, which produces C.K.’s acclaimed series “Louie” among others, also released a statement saying it is reviewing the matter.

“We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today. The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our 5 shows produced tougher over the past 8 years. FX Networks and FCP take all necessary actions to protect our employees and thoroughly investigate any allegations of misconduct within our workplace. That said, the matter is currently under review,” they said.

Netflix on Friday announced it was canceling C.K.’s upcoming stand up special, the second half of a two-part deal that included a special that debuted in April.

“The allegations made by several women in The New York Times about Louis C.K.’s behavior are disturbing,” a Netflix spokesperson 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.”

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