Abusers are 'everywhere,' she told Stephen Colbert

One Mississippi creator and star Tig Notaro began her interview with Stephen Colbert on Friday’s The Late Show with lots of laughs, including a running bit about hanging out with Conan O’Brien (who also appeared as a guest on Colbert’s show). But the discussion ended on a much more serious note.

The comedian addressed the culture of sexual abuse and harassment in the wake of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and former Fox News figures Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.

“Do you see any hope in the terrible news?” Colbert asked.

“That is the keyword: I hope,” Notaro said. “And I feel like there is hope. I feel like it is cracking the glass [ceiling] but it’s also something that needs to be continued, to discuss it and push it forward and for people to understand that it’s happening. Your heroes, people you work with, your family members, you have to believe people when they come forward — and even people who haven’t come forward yet, there are still sports figures, stand-up comedians, political figures, they’re everywhere.”

On Oct. 5, the New York Times published an exposé on Weinstein detailing “decades” of sexual harassment allegations. Days later, on Oct. 10, both the Times and The New Yorker posted new stories about Weinstein, alleging more misconduct, and — in the case of the New Yorker story — claims of sexual assault. Said a representative for Weinstein in response to the New Yorker story: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Ailes was previously ousted as head of Fox News and O’Reilly parted ways from the network after similar claims of harassment.

Abuse of this magnitude is one of the topics addressed in season 2 of One Mississippi, which is available to stream on Amazon.

“I just really hope that people will not drop the ball, and it’s such an exciting thing that these abusers are actually being taken down,” Notaro said. She added, “You have to support them and encourage people to come out and know that you will be there if and when they do.”

The comedian previously spoke about the topic of sexual abuse when unsubstantiated rumors began circling around fellow comic Louis C.K. “I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that, because it’s serious to be assaulted. It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious,” she said. Asked about Notaro’s comments and the claims while speaking to the New York Times in an interview published in September, C.K. said, “I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors.” He added, “If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real.”Asked whether the rumor was real, C.K. said, “No. They’re rumors, that’s all that is.”

Asked whether the rumor was real, C.K. said, “No. They’re rumors, that’s all that is.”

Watch Notaro in the clip above.

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