Louis C.K.’s comeback comedy tour, his first since admitting to sexual misconduct in November 2017, kicked off in Virginia at the beginning of November and has reignited conversations about his history of masturbating in front of female comedians. Five comics accused C.K. of sexual misconduct in an article published by The New York Times. The comedian, best known at the time for his comedy specials and FX series “Louie,” admitted the allegations against him were true. C.K. regularly appeared at comedy clubs to perform stand-up sets over the last year, but his comeback reached a new level this month with his first official tour.
Comedian Julia Wolov is one of the five women who brought C.K.’s sexual misconduct to light in The Times’ article. Following the publication of a Canadian Jewish News op-ed in which Toronto comedy-club owner Mark Breslin explained why he booked C.K.’s tour for eight shows at his club, Wolov responded with a rebuttal essay in which she cleared up a misconception about C.K.’s sexual misconduct (via Vulture). Breslin wrote that C.K.’s victims consented to him masturbating in front of them, which Wolov reminds everyone is not the case.
“Contrary to Breslin’s accounting, what C.K. did was not done with consent,” Wolov writes. “We never agreed nor asked him to take all his clothes off and masturbate to completion in front of us. But it didn’t matter because the exciting part for him was the fear on our faces. Just as it must be very exciting for Breslin to be one of the only comedy clubs to book Louis C.K. and write about it in the Canadian Jewish News.”
Wolov also takes Breslin to task for saying that he “felt even better” about his decision to book C.K. after he heard the comedian mention during a set that his grandfather was a Hungarian Jew who escaped Nazi persecution. “Since Breslin seems to take pride in his Judaism, he should know that four of the five women from the Times article are Jewish,” Wolov writes. “The author’s attempt to convince himself and the Jewish community of the validity of supporting C.K. by saying he is part Jewish is shameful.”
“We too work in comedy,” Wolov adds. “We will probably never make tens of millions of dollars to lose. Louis C.K. is still very wealthy. Although we may never have the stature to perform at [Breslin’s club] Yuk Yuk’s, we will continue to navigate our careers the best we can. So, when you pat yourself on the back for Louis C.K.’s career resurgence and helping your business thrive, maybe think about the human beings encumbered in this story.”
Read Wolov’s op-ed, entitled “Counterpoint: I Didn’t Consent to Louis C.K. Masturbating in Front of Me,” on the Canadian Jewish News website.