Actor and famed podcaster Marc Maron has addressed his friend Louis C.K.’s recent admission of long-rumoured sexual misconduct.
As he promised on Twitter, Maron responded to the allegations against C.K. on the latest episode of WTF.
I’ve been friends with Louis CK for a long time. I read the article and none of it is good. I’ll have more to say about it on my own show and not a shitty platform like Twitter.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) November 10, 2017
Maron described the comedian’s behaviour as “vile, inappropriate, hurtful, damaging, selfish shit,” and while he admitted that he’s in a difficult position as C.K.’s friend, he acknowledged that there is no way to “let him off the hook.”
Maron also addressed what he knew and when he learned about it, explaining that he knew “what most people knew,” referencing rumours about C.K. forcing women to watch him masturbate. And although the stories repeatedly gained traction over the years, whenever Maron asked C.K. about it, C.K. would say, “No, it’s not true. It’s not real. It’s a rumour.”
When Maron asked if he would handle it, C.K. said, “No I can’t, I can’t do that. I can’t give it life, give it air.”
Maron went on to describe the larger problem in the comedy industry, saying that women have nowhere to go to report incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct and calling the lack of a safe space to speak up “fucking sad.”
“I want to believe women, but in this particular instance, there was no one named in that [older]story, there was no place for women to go tell this story, there were no women attached to it. I didn’t know their names until Friday,” he said. “So I believed my friend. It’s just that the environment enabled the dismissiveness of it. How do I put this? The work environment, the social environment makes it difficult for people to come forward and be heard, to be listened to, to be believed and for action to be taken around that. It is pushed aside, it is dismissed, it is framed as an annoyance or an embarrassment, it is used against people, it is used as a threat — that is the structure that exists in life.”
Maron continued, owning up to his own “man brain” and inability to empathize with women, and the comedy world’s particular problem with acknowledging the amount of bullshit women have to put up with on top of trying to make it in the cutthroat comedy industry. He also acknowledged his own role in contributing to the gender imbalance, admitting that he didn’t have a single woman on the writing staff of his TV show and only ever used one female director — in addition to being “a toxic male presence.”
Finally, Maron recounted an incident when a teacher he greatly admired took him out to dinner and made an unexpected advance on him — not as a means of being able to completely understand what women go through, but as a way of using his own experiences of “confusion and shame” to access empathy in other situations.
Listen to the complete episode here.