Tig Notaro and Louis C.K. aren’t speaking.
“I have not spoken to Louis in probably going on two years now. I will never hear from Louis C.K. again,” Notaro told The Hollywood Reporter.
But that doesn’t mean everything is quiet. Far from it.
Rumors of sexual misconduct have been haunting C.K. for years, and they’re gaining traction in the public discourse. The popular stand-up comic, television producer, and filmmaker has been asked to respond to the rumor that he has exposed himself and masturbated in front of unwilling participants. He’s refused to engage with the whispers, but the discussion persists because of, in part, Notaro’s statements and her show, “One Mississippi.”
Notaro has said there was “an incident” before “One Mississippi” went into production that kept C.K. from ever contributing to the series. “He’s never been involved,” Notaro said of the man still listed in the opening credits as an executive producer of Season 2.
That, in itself, is a major revelation given how important C.K. has been to Notaro’s career. He boosted her profile by selling Notaro’s landmark stand-up routine on his site and later helped her show come into being. His FX Productions-based production company, Pig Newton, got behind “One Mississippi” early on and helped facilitate the sale to Amazon.
But that was before the “incident.”
Now, the two aren’t speaking, C.K. isn’t involved with the show, and Notaro has produced an episode of “One Mississippi” Season 2 that tells a story with direct connotations to what the friendship-severing incident may have been. Notaro bluntly addresses the issues surrounding C.K. — if not him, specifically — in a prominent storyline of “One Mississippi” Season 2.
In the fifth episode of Season 2 (released Friday, September 8), Notaro’s character — named Tig Bavaro — and the producer of her radio show, Kate (played by Notaro’s wife, Stephanie Allynne), are planning to pitch a big new project to their boss, Jack (Timm Sharp). They want to take their show on the road via a trip to New Zealand, and they need Jack’s go-ahead before they can move forward.
But when Kate goes in to pitch, everything goes wrong. All alone (because of an uncomfortable romantic tension between her and Tig), Kate enters Jack’s office and is asked to close the door. Thinking nothing of it, she sits down and proceeds with the pitch. Jack, perched behind his hardwood desk, makes an offhand joke about going with her on the trip. He’s continuing an ongoing flirtation with Kate; one that’s gone unrequited but has been largely innocent — until now.
Though nothing is shown and Kate can’t see what he’s doing, the loosening of a belt can be heard as the two talk. Jack’s right arm reaches down in between his legs and starts sliding back and forth. The motion is obvious: He’s masturbating, and Kate knows it. Her speech slows. She’s confused and embarrassed. It begins quickly and doesn’t last long. But she’s frozen in place, stuttering out words as he breathily begs her to continue describing plans for the trip.