Louis C.K. is currently promoting his new film I Love You, Daddy, which tells the story of a powerful man whom a lot of people suspect is a sexual predator. Why would C.K. of all people make such a film? Who knows?
The New York Times interviewed C.K. following the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend. I Love You, Daddy is about a man, played by C.K., who sees his 17-year-old daughter getting approached by a powerful Hollywood director who is rumored to be a pedophile. In describing the meaning behind the movie to interviewer Cara Buckley, C.K. has this to say:
“There are these people in the world that we all talk about, and we want to know that they’re all good or they’re all bad,” Louis C.K. said during an interview Sunday morning at a cafe in downtown Toronto. “The uncomfortable truth is, you never really know. You don’t know anybody. To me, if there was one thing this movie is about, it’s that you don’t know anybody.”
Buckley brings up the sexual harassment rumors—that he has in the past masturbated in front of women comics—that have followed C.K., and he refuses to address “that stuff.” Though as this film’s subject matter indicates, he is willing to play with the themes of power and predatory sex in his art, C.K. still doesn’t seem to think he has any responsibility towards addressing these issues where they might apply to his real life, in public:
“I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors,” Louis C.K. said during the Toronto interview, as he told Vulture last year. But he added on Sunday, “If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real.”
So it’s not real? “No.” he responded. “They’re rumors, that’s all that is.”
Plenty of rich, famous men never have to deal directly with rumors of sexual harassment, or even with actual convictions for sex crimes, so not discussing “that stuff” would seem to be a wise choice, career-wise. However, in C.K.’s case, there are still a few people with huge followings who are urging him to speak out. Tig Notaro recently suggested that C.K. needed to talk about the sexual harassment allegations directly, while on a press tour of her own for her show One Mississippi. When asked why his one-time friend (the two no longer speak, according to Notaro) would suggest there was any reality to the stories about him, C.K. didn’t have an answer:
“I don’t know why she said the things she’s said, I really don’t,” he replied, adding, “I don’t think talking about that stuff in the press and having conversations over press lanes is a good idea.”
You can read the rest of the interview here.