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Why Louis C.K.'s Apology Statement Is So Unsettling

For starters, it doesn't contain the word 'apologize.'

Why Louis C.K.'s Apology Statement Is So Unsettling

On Friday morning, after what has been a particularly exhausting news cycle, Louis C.K. released a statement regarding the allegations that he sexual assaulted five women. C.K. confirmed the reports in a lengthy note, writing simply: "these stories are true."

While we can appreciate that the actor's blatant admission, there are a few things missing from his statement. For starters, it inexplicably does not include the words "sorry" or "apologize." Nor does it mention that he publicly denied these allegations for years. It does say, however, that the women "admired" him. Four times. He must have been really, really "admired" by these women. That's why he felt he could take out his genitals without their consent. Get it?

It also lists five of his current projects. 

After C.K. confirmed the reports, a litany of media companies distanced themselves from the comedian. Netflix will not follow through with the second part of a stand-up special as planned. HBO pulled C.K. from the comedy special lineup, Night of Too Many Stars, which benefits autism programs. Orchard, the distribution company for C.K.'s upcoming movie, I Love You Daddy, will not move forward with the Nov. 17 release date. And FX, home to C.K.'s Emmy-winning comedy Louie, has cut all ties with the comedian.

"Now is not the time for him to make television shows," the FX statement reads. "Now is the time for him to honestly address the women who have come forth to speak about their painful experiences, a process which he began today with his public statement."

That FX statement also leaves much to be desired. It implies that there will be a time when FX deems it acceptable for C.K. to make television shows again — just not right now. How admirable of them.

Read C.K.'s full statement here:

I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not. These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick 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 dick 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.

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 who’s 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.

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