Nathaniel Kublin | Brown University
After the Kevin Spacey allegations came out in late October, I was was filled with so much disgust that I felt obligated to write a piece discussing the multiple issues with the whole scene (which can be seen here). To me, I saw a man who made sexual advances on a child, and a man who made his work environments toxic. To my amazement, most people I talked to resorted to saying one of two things. The first was, “Ok, but they’re just allegations,” and the other was, “Wow that’s a shame. I really like him.”
People claimed that I was so readily “anti-Spacey” because I didn’t have an emotional attachment to him. For some reason, liking someone was enough of a justification to overlook accusations of sexual misconduct. Then, not more than two weeks later, Louis CK came into the mainstream.
I had looked up to Louis CK for years. His multiple stand up specials, his interview on Marc Maron’s podcast, his conversation in Judd Apatow’s book, and his FX show “Louie,” were all prime examples of his nuanced control over the English language, as well as his ability to tap into his real life struggles to create a sense of commonality with strangers. He is one of the greatest comics of all time, and I was blown away by his work.
While his admission of guilt took place in the November, I first learned about his actions in April. Shortly after I watched his new special “2017,” a friend told me about accusations that had been put out against the comedian. I had never heard of this, but after some research, I found a select few articles that reported on the topic, all highlighting the claims of sexual misconduct. For years, Louis CK and his manager had been deflecting all inquiries, and generally treated the accusations as nothing more than slanderous gossip.
CK is an Emmy award winning comic and writer, and I genuinely believe he has changed what it means to be a comedian forever. With that said, I no longer look up to him. A person’s career accolades are separate from how they behave as a person. Louis CK is a talented performer, but he also masturbated in front of multiple different woman without consent. He committed absolutely unacceptable acts, and no amount of likeability can change that.
It does not matter if it’s Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Roy Moore, or the President of the United States, for when I learn of a history of sexual misconduct, I immediately lose respect for them. As more and more people are being confronted for their histories of misconduct, it is important to remember that everyone involved in the cases are people, just like you. Real life people have been traumatized, just as a real life person made the decision to traumatize them. Fame and charisma are not excuses for inappropriate behavior.