In a new op-ed for Vulture, comedian Rebecca Corry addresses questions she’d never have to answer in a more ideal world. As she points out in the first line of the article, it has been six months since she told the New York Times that
Louis C.K. asked to masturbate in front of her and tone-deaf inquires about her experience have cropped up consistently since.
She makes it clear—and it should be understood—that sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault are ongoing traumas that are “extensive and complicated,” and while it’s been half a year since she came forward, it’s something she continues to struggle with.
In the piece, Corry outlines the backlash she’s received for speaking out:
“Since speaking out, I’ve experienced vicious and swift backlash from women and men, in and out of the comedy community. I’ve received death threats, been berated, judged, ridiculed, dismissed, shamed, and attacked.
Some have said, ‘He just asked to jerk off in front of you, what’s the big deal?’ And I can’t count how many times people have told me, ‘Well, he did say sorry.’ But he didn’t. Admitting what you did, and justifying it with ‘I always asked first,’ is not the same as apologizing.”
She describes a toxic culture of male comedians who continue to cover and vouch for one another, to the detriment of victims everywhere:
“The comedians who choose to shame and attack are the most disappointing of all. Dave Chappelle, a self-proclaimed “feminist,” used his Netflix special as an opportunity to single out one of the C.K. accusers, saying she has a “brittle-ass spirit.” His rambling bit, filled with ignorance and vitriol, isn’t comedy. It’s just another example of a comedy giant misusing his power and platform to hurt someone.”
She describes those close to her who’ve exhibited similar behaviors, lying to protect themselves from the ramifications of going up against C.K.:
“Two close friends I’d trusted and confided in for years, who were at the taping when it happened, refused to corroborate what happened to me in the New York Times using their names. Other friends simply stopped communicating with me. These are the same people I had seen on social media, proudly wearing pussy hats and Time’s Up pins at the Women’s March.”
She addresses the inherent fallacy of a C.K. “comeback”:
“The idea that C.K. reentering the public eye would ever be considered a ‘comeback’ story is disturbing. The guy exploited his position of power to abuse women. A “comeback” implies he’s the underdog and victim, and he is neither. C.K. is a rich, powerful man who was fully aware that his actions were wrong. Yet he chose to behave grotesquely simply because he could. The only issue that matters is whether he will choose to stop abusing women.”
It’s powerful stuff, reiterating the continual effect of abuses—even if the news cycle forgets and moves onto the latest abuser, she, and other victims, won’t.
Read the full article here.