Back to IndieWire

Jen Kirkman Looks Back at Addressing Louis C.K. Sexual Misconduct Rumors in 2015 and the Harassment That Followed

Kirkman first brought attention to the rumors surrounding C.K. years before he admitted to masturbating in front of several female comics.

Jen Kirkman and Louis C.K.

Jen Kirkman and Louis C.K.

Broadimage/Shutterstock

Comedian Jen Kirkman has taken to social media to sound off on Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct just days after C.K. made a polarizing return by performing a surprise set at New York’s Comedy Cellar. The comedy set was C.K.’s first since admitting to sexual misconduct last fall.

Kirkman brought attention to the rumors surrounding C.K.’s inappropriate behavior back in 2015 when she mentioned on her “I Seem Fun” podcast that she had turned down opportunities to work with male comics in the past due to rumors of sexual misconduct. Kirkman did not name C.K., but the internet figured it out since C.K. invited Kirkman to tour with him in the past.

Kirkman explained in her August 30 Twitter thread that the backlash and lack of support she faced from just hinting at C.K.’s harassment prevented her from not only continuing to press on the issue but also from going public with the harassment she personally received from C.K.

“I didn’t have proof he did any of this masturbation stuff. Only rumors,” Kirkman said. “He verbally did some sick stuff to me. I got harassed so bad for speaking on it with no one in my community to back me up I stopped. He apologized. And lied to me about the others. This is the mess of it all.”

Kirkman’s thread was launched after a Twitter user criticized her for having a chance to expose C.K. years ago and not going forward with it.

“Don’t you dare put me on trial for my clumsy handling of my own harassment and having no idea what to do about it, how to handle that speaking out got me nothing but rape threats, and then me questioning if what happened to me was even that bad,” she responded. “That is literally the trajectory women face.”

The comedian continued by explaining the backlash she faced after her podcast episode. “Tons of press picked it up. Named him. And suddenly it’s implied he physically harassed me,” she said. “I pulled down the podcast and was accused of being paid off.”

Kirkman said the online harassment she faced was so extreme that it was impossible for her to promote her own work without being forced back into the C.K. conversation.

“If you’re a dude who already hates women you’ll use my story against me. It’s been happening to me for years,” Kirkman said. “And most men in the comedy community didn’t back me up on Twitter. Instead they told me ‘don’t feed trolls’ and other not helpful advice.”

Kirkman is best known for her Netflix comedy specials “I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)” and “Just Keep Livin’?,” plus appearances on “Chelsea Lately” and Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” She recently worked as a writing consultant on the Emmy-nominated comedy “The Marvelous Ms. Maisel.” You can read the beginning Kirkman’s full thread in the tweets below. Click here to read all 35 tweets.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,