Louis C.K. is cut from HBO special Night Of Too Many Stars

HBO said Louis C.K. would no longer be part of a comedy benefit that it plans to broadcast on Nov 18, 2017.
HBO said Louis C.K. would no longer be part of a comedy benefit that it plans to broadcast on Nov 18, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - The backlash against the comedian Louis C.K. was swift after The New York Times reported on Thursday (Nov 9) that several women described encounters with him that crossed the line into sexual misconduct.

On Thursday evening, HBO said Louis C.K. would no longer be part of a comedy benefit that it plans to broadcast on Nov. 18.

The cable network said in a statement that Louis C.K. would "no longer be participating in the benefit concert, Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs" and that it was removing Louis C.K.'s past projects from its On Demand services.

The move came as well-known names in comedy spoke out about Louis C.K. Perhaps the most notable reaction came from comedian Jen Kirkman.

In a 2014 podcast, she told of an uncomfortable situation with an unnamed top comic but took down the podcast. She later explained to The Village Voice that she was talking about difficult decisions that female comics face "when you hear rumors about someone, and they ask you to go on the road with them."

On Thursday, she wrote on Twitter that she believed the women who spoke to The Times, and added: "Though he apologised for his one time comment to me, I will no longer casually call Louie a friend. I can't support what I now know are his contributions to the power dynamic in this business."

Here are other responses from entertainment figures:

Comedian Rosie O¡¯Donnell said: "Nothing will ever surprise me again regarding men."

Jason Alexander, the Seinfeld star, wrote: "Gentlemen, comedy is often inappropriate. It is sometimes daring and audacious and shocking. But our behavior, in the real world, toward women - that doesn't get a pass on inappropriate."

Michael Schur, one of the creators of Parks and Recreation, apologized for giving Louis C.K. guest-star roles on the show: "Misogyny is a cancer. Harassment and abuse are that cancer metastasising and going untreated. Stories like this being reported and printed are the first steps toward a cure. I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry."

Comedian and actor Michael Ian Black called Louis C.K.'s behavior "inexcusable": "For everybody asking, I know and like Louis C.K. I won't defend him. This is inexcusable and he needs to address it."

Mara Wilson, actress and author, said that rumors about Louis C.K. had been traded for years and that she wasn't surprised by the report: "I was waiting for this one," she wrote on Twitter."I've been hearing things for the past few years. Some of these were surprising; I somehow didn't know about Spacey until like a month ago. This one was not."

Tammy Pescatelli, a stand-up comedian, expressed her support for one of the woman who described her run-in with Louis C.K.: "I was vilified when I agreed/called out, along w/other's that someone more famous & powerful was "parallel thinking" jokes. I was threatened, bullied & banned. Im glad now, the world is believing ppl over something much more important. Sending you love & strength."