In his latest stand-up set, comedian Louis C.K. told the audience he lost $35 million as a result of his admission to sexual misconduct allegations. It was a year ago that Louis C.K. answered a New York Times story in which five women accused him of sexual misconduct over the course of many years. As a direct result of that admission, The Orchard dropped their plans to release C.K.'s film I Love You, Daddy, leaving the movie in limbo.
In addition to the loss of his film deal, C.K. also lost his deal with FX, the network responsible for his producing his acclaimed show Louie. HBO too cut ties with the comedian in the wake of his admission of misconduct. C.K. elected to disappear from the public eye in the months after the allegations against him, but he's recently resurfaced with a series of stand-up shows that have been met with a decidedly mixed reaction both by those in attendance and the public at large.
As reported by Laughspin, Louis C.K. made another of his controversial "comeback" appearances last week, and this time the comedian discussed the sexual misconduct allegations as well as his decision to publicly confirm them. C.K's show went down at the West Side Comedy Club in New York, and according to those in attendance, at one point C.K. claimed to have lost $35 million as a result of his admission. C.K. also said he'd been "to hell and back" during his year off from comedy. AMarie Castillo, who hosted the event, posted an image of herself welcoming Louis to the stage (see below):
Castillo told Laughspin of C.K's set:
"It’s like he didn’t even skip a beat with the year he had. He was so genuine and reflected on how weird his year was, tried out some new dark and dirty material…Sounds to me he is owning up, acknowledging, and trying to figure it out."
Other sources who were in the audience told Laughspin C.K.'s set was more confident than his other recent shows, where he had refrained from addressing the misconduct allegations. According to the site, comedians in attendance laughed harder at C.K.'s jokes than those in the audience.
Many who have been in attendance at C.K.'s string of recent surprise stand-up appearances have expressed discomfort at him showing up unannounced, while others have met the comedian with cheers and applause. Not surprisingly, there has by-and-large been a sharp divide between how women have reacted to C.K.'s appearances and how men have reacted. Also not surprisingly, comedians have generally been more welcoming of C.K. than audience members. Of course, the allegations against C.K. were leveled by female comedians, who accused him of various acts of misconduct spread across several years. Rumors of C.K.'s inappropriate behavior circulated for a long time before he was finally accused and was forced to admit to the misconduct.
Now however, it seems Louis C.K. is trying to put the allegations behind him and return to his stand-up career. As evidenced by the violently divided reaction to his recent appearances, it will take a lot for the comedian to win back the audience he enjoyed before the controversy over him erupted into the public eye. There are some who say C.K. should never be allowed to return, while others argue he has done his penance and should be able to go on with his career.