Jen Kirkman responds to Louis C.K. allegations: He's 'no longer' a friend
Kirkman clarified earlier this year that Louis C.K. never harassed her
Jen Kirkman, the best-selling author and comedian who publicly referenced Louis C.K.’s alleged sexual misconduct as early as 2014, is responding to the New York Times report which features five women claiming C.K. behaved inappropriately. The short version of her reaction, which is structured in a series of tweets: I believe you.
In 2014, Kirkman vaguely discussed rumors about C.K. on her podcast I Seem Fun. “This guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard,” she said. “Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him.” She subsequently told the Nerdist podcast that C.K. had “said something kind of creepy” to her before apologizing. Earlier this year, she then clarified to the Village Voicethat C.K. never harassed her, but that “when you hear rumors about someone, and they ask you to go on the road with them, this is what being a woman in comedy is like — imagine if there’s always a chance of rain over your head but [with] men, there isn’t.”
The Times‘ bombshell immediately followed Thursday’s cancellations of C.K.’s new film premiere, I Love You, Daddy, and his scheduled appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The report features five women alleging sexual misconduct between the late ’90s and 2005: Dana Min Goldman and Julia Wolov claim C.K. masturbated in front of them in his hotel room; Abby Schachner claims C.K. audibly masturbated while on the phone with her; Rebecca Corry alleges C.K. asked if he could masturbate in front of her while on the set of a TV pilot, which she refused; and an anonymous fifth woman who worked with C.K. on The Chris Rock Show recounts getting similar repeated requests, which she “went along with…but later questioned his behavior.”
The star’s publicist tells EW, “In the coming days, Louis will issue a written statement.”
HBO released a statement regarding the comic, who starred in their short-lived series, Lucky Louie: “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. In addition, HBO is removing Louis C.K.’s past projects from its On Demand services.”
FX, which aired the comedian’s series Louie and his co-produced series Baskets and Better Things, released this statement: “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 together over the past 8 years. FX Networks and FXP 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.”
EW has also reached out for comment to Netflix (which airs his stand-up specials) but has not yet received any on-the-record statement.
In Kirkman’s Thursday tweets, she began by naming each woman included in the Times report and showing solidarity.
The Times also included comments by Tig Notaro, whose Amazon series One Mississippicredits C.K. as executive producer and whose career was bolstered by his public support of her work. She has since tried to distance herself after learning many of her friends in the comedy community were allegedly harassed by C.K., telling the Times she feels “trapped” by the relationship.
Kirkman wrote on Twitter, “I understand how Tig feels. She did nothing wrong by having associated with him.”
Kirkman, who currently has a pilot in development with ABC and is perhaps best known for her recurring appearances on Chelsea Lately and Drunk History, finished her initial response by offering her broader opinion on the allegations. “Though he apologized for his one time comment to me, I will no longer casually call Louie a friend,” she said. “I can’t support what I now KNOW are his contributions to the power dynamic in this business.” She then concluded, “It’s time to listen to how women want this to be talked about. The end.”
Less than hour later, Kirkman issued more tweets to address “the men harassing” her since her initial comments, who say she had “recently implied” she did not believe the alleged victims and referenced the previously mentioned episode of her podcast. She specifically blasts Jezebel and Daily Beast for “saying [she] said things [she] didn’t say,” and argued, “When stuff like this breaks, women get harassed and analyzed and criticized more.”