As the entertainment world continues to debate whether or not Louis C.K. deserves a comeback after admitting to sexual misconduct last fall, Rose Byrne says at least one thing is not debatable about the issue: The comedian should not be surprising audiences with unannounced comedy sets. Byrne, who co-starred opposite C.K. in his controversial directorial effort “I Love You, Daddy,” told The New York Times she takes issue with the way C.K. started his comeback earlier this year.
“It’s too soon for him to have a surprise one, that’s for sure,” Byrne said when asked whether the comedian was ready for a comeback. “I think if he’s going to show up, just let everybody know so then they can make a decision, like, ‘I don’t want to see this guy — I’m out.’ It’s also the gatekeepers around these things who give people the chance to have a comeback. They’re actually really powerful. I would like to see them being held accountable a little bit more.”
C.K. appeared at the Comedy Cellar in New York City on August 26 for his first major comedy set since admitting to sexual misconduct. The comedian was not announced on the Comedy Celler set list and surprised the audience by appearing on stage. C.K. made several more appearances at the Comedy Cellar and other New York City comedy clubs in the weeks that followed, all of which were unannounced. C.K.’s October 26 performance at the Comedy Cellar was his first publicized set.
Byrne also spoke to The Times about “I Love You, Daddy.” The C.K.-directed comedy premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, a couple weeks before five women came forward and accused C.K. of sexual misconduct. Distributor The Orchard cancelled the film’s theatrical release in the wake of the allegations. Byrne starred in the film as Grace Cullen, a pregnant movie star who falls for C.K.’s character.
“You go in with such great intentions, and Louis was very sweet with me, and I had a very respectful experience,” Byrne said of the film. “But it’s obviously very complicated, and I stand with the women who came forward. But yeah, it is conflicting when you commit to something, just from my experience of, ‘Wow, this is a really weird, dark story — I’m intrigued by it.’ And then it becomes a much bigger thing than what it is. I think it will be a while before that film can be seen, and I think that’s right.”
Byrne previously told IndieWire she doesn’t think “I Love You, Daddy” will ever be released and that the film “should just kind of go away.” The actress currently stars opposite Mark Wahlberg in the family comedy-drama “Instant Family.”