Reality: 1, Cancel Culture: 0

Need proof that "cancel culture" isn't real? See Louis C.K., a man who went back on the stand-up comedy circuit less than a year after admitting in 2017 to pulling out his penis and masturbating in front of female comics. And last night, less than five years after those stories came to light, the Recording Academy awarded Louis C.K. a Grammy.

C.K.'s Sincerely Louis C.K. won Best Comedy Album in a category that included Nate Bargatze's The Greatest Average American, Lewis Black's Thanks for Risking Your Life, Lavell Crawford's The Comedy Vaccine, Chelsea Handler's Evolution, and Kevin Hart's Zero F---s Given.

The comedian didn't appear at the 2022 Grammys ceremony, which was held Sunday night at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. CBS also didn't televise his win.

Louis C.K.
Louis C.K. won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album, less than five years since admitting to sexual misconduct.
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

C.K. jokes about the sexual misconduct on the album itself. In 2017, five women from the comedy world came forward in a New York Times exposé to detail their own personal horror stories with the comedian. The accounts had a theme: C.K. would routinely start masturbating in front of women without permission, or he would ask them to watch him masturbate. In a statement released at the time, C.K. said "these stories are true," but he maintained "I never showed a woman my dick without asking first."

"I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them. And run from them," he said at the time. "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."

C.K. had lost a considerable amount of work in the fallout from the revelations, but he went back to stand-up comedy in 2018. By 2020, The Washington Post reported he was again selling out comedy venues. Dave Chappelle — who's now also a controversial figure for his comments on trans people — helped rehabilitate C.K.'s public image by bringing him out as a surprise guest at a 2020 comedy show.

You can bet C.K.'s Grammy win this year sparked some pretty strong reactions on social media.

"If you don't give a shit about those women, f--- you, bad on you, this isn't just about Louis, this is about those PEOPLE and what he did to them," tweeted Wendy Molyneux, a Bob's Burgers writer who's also working on the script for Deadpool 3. "He's a shitty little man with a shitty little problem and f--- people who don't care about stuff like this. I'm so annoyed."

"You think it's silly, you think it's funny, you've probably never felt like someone was gonna kill you if you didn't do what they wanted sexually in the moment," she added. "It's not very silly when it happens, not much of a goof. Anyway, f--- Louis CK, f--- Woody Allen, f--- the whole system."

Michael Ian Black, who sparked a backlash of his own when he supported C.K.'s return to stand-up in 2018, tweeted that he didn't even know C.K. put an album out last year.

"There's a lot of funny stuff on the album but it's impossible not to listen to him in a different way than before," he tweets as part of a thread. "He tries to move past the sexual stuff right at the top, but it's pat, and all it does is remind me that he never had a public atonement. That's obviously a choice."

His full Twitter thread, as well as other social media reactions to C.K.'s win, can be found below.

In other news, music producer Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, a.k.a. Dr. Luke, who is still in a legal battle with Kesha after she accused him of sexual assault, was nominated for two Grammys for his work on the songs "Kiss Me More" and "Best Friend." (He lost.) Cancel culture, amirite?

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