Earlier this week, Louis C.K. made his "comeback" only 10 months after admitting to sexual misconduct involving multiple female comedians. On Sunday night, he performed a show at New York City's Comedy Cellar to a "standing ovation."
The comedian's seamless re-entry into performing has been met with a lot of criticism, which when you think about it, makes a lot of sense.
Louis C.K. was rumored to have been invited by a fellow comedian to perform, was supported by the venue, and was supported by fans – both those at the Cellar and those who heard about his return online. However, he allegedly kept his victims silent for sometimes decades – reportedly asking venues, comedians, producers, and other people involved in the industry to kill women's careers to shut them up.
Louis is one of the first #MeToo perpetrators to step outside of his supposed self-imposed reflection on his bad behavior to return to his career – one he denied multiple victims of for upwards of 30 years. This begged the question on social media: Should perpetrators be allowed to return to their work, especially if it lends them millions of dollars and oodles of fame each year? And if they should be able to return, how can they do it in a way that shows appropriate remorse?
One Twitter thread has gone viral because it responds to those questions in a way no one has yet; it lays out a plan for how #MeToo perpetrators can come back to their careers (if they must) in a meaningful way. Here's how female comedian Jenny Yang suggests comebacks should be staged.
Yeah, it's pretty controversial. But it's also pretty popular.
We don't really have a process on how to handle these things as a society. It's not something we'll just figure out, either. And while Jenny Yang's approach might be for the comedy industry, it's also the first blueprint I've seen for men to be reaccepted into their fields when they've done some serious wrong.
I know I don't have any answers. All I know is 1 in 4 women are sexually harrassed in the workplace, and that 75 percent of sexual harassment victims are retaliated against for reporting it. Meanwhile, any retaliation against Louis C.K. seems to have been relegated to 10 months of him being a millionaire. Is that justice?