Louis C.K.'s first appearance since sex scandal gets a standing ovation but some fellow comics are disgusted.
Just 10 months after stepping away from the limelight, Louis made a dramatic, unannounced return to the stage Monday night.
Less than a year ago, Louis C.K. doing a surprise stand-up bit at New York’s Comedy Cellar would have been a fun surprise for fans in attendance. But it wouldn’t have made news.
Today, it’s one of the biggest stories in the country right now.
It was only 10 months ago in November 2017 that Louis was revealed to have committed several acts of sexual misconduct. He took responsibility for his behavior and disappeared entirely from the public stage.
No one knew if he’d ever come back and what would happen if he did.
On Monday night, he reportedly received a standing ovation from those in attendance during his brief set, details of which are still emerging.
Comedians were quick to react online and the reaction was far less favorable.
The reaction was fierce with many women, and men, saying this isn’t how Louis should have done it.
One of the few prominent comedians to defend Louis’ return was Michael Ian Black, whose tweet welcoming Louis back set off a major firestorm across social media.
Black has been a long-standing advocate for women's rights, but many people were not happy with him seemingly taking the side of Louis. Black later tried to explain the nuance of his tweets but acknowledged people would not be happy.
Will take heat for this, but people have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives. I don't kn… https://t.co/wGzG103lih— Michael Ian Black (@Michael Ian Black) 1535455410.0
One of my fondest memories is singing my song about loving Louis CK right before he did a drop-in. The idea of him… https://t.co/JPMskaVWdB— Allie Goertz (@Allie Goertz) 1535435291.0
If Louis CK had stolen jokes, he’d be a fucking pariah. But instead he stole careers and passion and trust from pos… https://t.co/ExELg5ACua— Jason Filiatrault (@Jason Filiatrault) 1535437199.0
I wish all the people crying “so Louis CK can never work in comedy again?” felt as strongly about all the women who… https://t.co/96OIrqK6Pw— Jennifer Weiner (@Jennifer Weiner) 1535461503.0
As the #MeToo movement continues to evolve, we’re still figuring out how to handle the next stage. Men like Louis will be examples no matter what - whether they are good or bad ones is up to them.
Wealthy and powerful men like Louis C.K. face decisions both public and private as they decide how to navigate their next steps after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.
Someone like Louis relies largely on a fan base outside of the Hollywood system -- anytime he wants, he can launch a comedy special or even TV show to his personal but substantial email list.
To many, people like Louis should simply go away forever. But it’s clear he wants to return to public life in some capacity. How he does so could offer a chance for education and healing to those affected by the #MeToo movement.
However, his first foray back into that world shows he’s still far from perfect.