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Apologies from Louis C.K. and His Former Manager

After several women told similar stories about Louis C.K.'s sexual misconduct, the comedian wrote a statement (NSFW). Some appreciate Louis C.K.'s taking responsibility and consider it a far better response than we have seen from Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey. Others think the statement fell short, particularly because he didn't use the words "I'm sorry" or "I apologize."

Quartz published an edited version of the statement, criticizing Louis C.K. for emphasizing how much he's admired rather than how sorry he is.

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Meanwhile, Louis C.K.'s manager, Dave Becky, ended their relationship and wrote his own statement:

“I profoundly regret and am deeply sorry for not listening to and not understanding what happened to Dana and Julia. If I had, I would have taken this event as seriously as it deserved to be, and I would have confronted Louis, which would have been the right thing to do.

I am providing this context so that others do not make the same mistake I did. At that time, I heard the story third-hand, and I interpreted the conversation as two women telling a story about a sexual encounter with a then-married Louis. Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual. I misperceived the casual way the story was portrayed to me — instead I should have recognized that it must have been a mask for their unease and discomfort in the face of his detestable behavior. My intent was to seek discretion to protect what I thought was a matter of infidelity. I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover-up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.

In hindsight, I was operating blindly from a one-sided place of privilege. Until last week, I knew only of this one isolated incident. Although this may sound naïve, it is true. Never once, in all of these years, did anyone mention any of the other incidents that were reported recently — I am appalled to learn of these. I have come to realize my status wielded an atmosphere where such news did not reach me, or worse yet, that it seemed such news did not matter to me. It does. It matters tremendously.

I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.”

Becky also represents Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, and Kevin Hart. He did represent Pamela Adlon, but she terminated the relationship after the Louis C.K. news became public.

Discussion: 

  • If you read Louis C.K.'s statement (NSFW), what is your perspective? In what ways does it serve as an effective apology, and in what ways does it fall short?
  • Assess Becky's statement similarly.