According to Vice, Louis C.K. was met by protesters outside his first announced performance at the Comedy Cellar in New York City “since admitting to masturbating in front of several women without their consent.”
This was C.K.’s first announced performance since he made his first in a series of unannounced sets at the Comedy Cellar in August. The owner of the Comedy Cellar, Noam Dworman, has received backlash for allowing C.K. to perform. In a podcast with The Daily, Dworman stated that he does not believe he should be the one who determines whether or not people’s careers are over after allegations like this come out or are confirmed. However, he is not the only comedy club owner to make a statement like this; Dworman’s club is just the only one that C.K. has tried and succeeded at performing in.
Two women held handmade signs protesting Louis’ performance and encouraged people to leave the Comedy Cellar during his set. One of the signs said, “Does this sign make you uncomfortable, Louie?” The protesters, Jennifer Boudinot and Lana McCrea, believe that allowing C.K. back in the spotlight completely undermines the severity of his actions, and sends a larger, more emotionally detrimental message to women and victims of sexual assault and misconduct.
A protester outside the Comedy Cellar tonight before Louis CK takes the stage for his second billed show of the night. pic.twitter.com/inNwuog1V3
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) October 30, 2018
While some of the audience members left when he got on stage, abiding by the suggestion made by the protesters outside, most of the audience remained in their seats, greeting him with applause.
This has been his first performance where he subtly referenced “the allegations against him,” stating that “you find out who your real friends are when you ‘get in trouble.'” However, most of the jokes he made were on par with his past, typical sets, and did well with the crowd.
Many critics of him re-entering the entertainment world state that allowing him to continue to perform only instills the institutions that allowed his behavior in the first place. McCrea believes that it is “more than Louis C.K. It’s what we deem acceptable in our society, in our community.” Protesters both on and off the scene at the Comedy Cellar believe that C.K.’s career should have ended the moment he admitted the allegations against him were true and that allowing him back on the stage tells women that “laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers.”