‘Leave Louis C.K. Alone,’ Janeane Garofalo Says In Interview

Bryan Bedder Getty Images

As the debate continues over whether Louis C.K. should be allowed to return to comedy a little over a year after he admitted to sexual misconduct — while observers also argue about whether his work has changed in the interim — another comedian has something of a surprising view on the matter.

“Leave Louis C.K. alone, enough with that,” actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo said in an interview this week, speaking with feminist magazine Bust‘s podcast Poptarts. Poptarts is hosted by Callie Watts and Emily Rems. Garofalo noted that she and C.K. have been friends since 1985.

“I think he has suffered, and when he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters. If you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should, think about how his daughters, who hear about all this stuff, feel. Why don’t you leave him alone, for then, if you’re so women-empowering?”

To the incredulous response of the show’s hosts, Garofalo declared that “I believe that it’s between the people that took issue with him [and him.]”

“I don’t want to get caught up in this, because clearly you take a strong position on this, and it doesn’t win me any friends, this is like talking about Israel,” Garofalo continued. “But I do believe when you’re a friend of someone, and if you think that they have suffered, I don’t believe in kicking a person when they’re down.”

Garofalo also repeatedly noted that there are other issues going on these days that are more deserving of public attention than Louis C.K.’s transgressions. The podcast hosts replied that it’s possible to multi-task.

When Garofalo noted that the hosts “weren’t there” for C.K.’s misconduct, one of them replied “I wasn’t in the Iraqi war to know that that wasn’t cool.” Garofalo also noted that several of the people accused since the start of the #MeToo movement have been nice to her personally over the years, and that Harvey Weinstein even once gifted her a sweater.

Garofalo, a longtime stand-up comedian, also had an extended run as an actress beginning in the 1990s — appearing in such TV shows as The Ben Stiller Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and 24. She also appeared in several movies, such as Reality Bites and Copland. Garofalo has long been outspoken politically, and was a frequent target of Fox News during the early 2000s, due to her criticism of the George W. Bush administration.