Comedian Janeane Garofalo came to Louis C.K. defense during a tense conversation on the most recent episode of the Bust podcast “Poptarts,” hosted by Emily Rems and Callie Watts (via Vulture). Prior to launching into her thoughts on C.K., which she more or less admitted would do her no favors in the court of public opinion, Garofalo said people should have the right to question accusers and the validity of sexual misconduct allegations.
“When it comes to the #MeToo movement, I think it’s okay to question the source,” Garofalo said. “It should transcend gender. It’s human rights. Cause if you don’t, anyone can be accused of anything at any time. And if you’re not allowed to question that — I can say right now ‘I’ve got pictures of you molesting a child. Don’t question me!’ You know what I mean? Don’t question the questioner! Then it’s a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. And I think in any movement, for human rights, you’ve got to transcend gender, and you’ve got to consider who’s making the accusation and why and when, because it matters.”
As the conversation pivoted to Louis C.K., who admitted last fall that sexual misconduct allegations against him were true, Garofalo said, “Leave Louis C.K. alone. Enough with that. And again, there are so many issues we gotta be motivated on. He’s been my friend — and I stand by that — he’s been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered.”
C.K. began making a comeback on the stand-up comedy circuit in late August and has continued to perform, most recently courting controversy for a December performance in which he joked about gender pronouns and the Parkland school shooting survivors. Garofalo said that people should not be as hostile to C.K.’s sets, if only for the sake of the comedian’s two children.
‘When he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters,” Garofalo said. “If nothing else — if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should — think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel. Why don’t you leave him alone for them if you’re so women-empowering?”
Garofalo said she was aware “there’ll be nothing but vitriol coming at me about this,” but she encouraged outspoken backlash against C.K. to end because the comedian has “paid heavily, heavily, and his family has paid heavily.”
“Do you know how much offensive material goes on at the Comedy Cellar?” Garofalo asked the hosts when pressed about C.K.’s comedy sets. “You know what? If you don’t want to listen to him, get up and leave the room. You are acting like Mussolini has walked into the room, and it is not. This is a human being.”
For more of Garofalo’s conversation on “Poptarts,” head over to Vulture.