Did Jen Kirkman Call Out Louis C.K. For Being A Gross Perv On Her Podcast?

For awhile now, there have been murmurings on the internet and within comedy circles that beloved comedian Louis C.K. is a total creep to women, understood to be an open secret that everyone knows but nobody talks about. Louis C.K. is very powerful within the comedy scene, and those who allege that he’s a perv say that everyone is too afraid to speak out about it, because they’re sure doing so would be a career ender. Fear of retribution is a reason many, many sexual assault and harassment victims don’t come forward. This is certainly the case with Bill Cosby’s 40+ victims, many of whom were terrified to come forward because of how powerful Cosby is in Hollywood.

Back in 2012, Gawker published a blind item about a comedian who liked to jerk off in front of female comics, which many theorized was Louis C.K. Then, a couple weeks ago, Defamer wrote about an alleged email exchange between an anonymous tipster and Louis C.K., in which the tipster called Louis out for his behavior towards women. That led to an alleged phone call between the two, which the tipster characterized as Louis “sizing me up” to “find out what I had heard.” The conversation, if you take the tipster’s at his word that it actually occurred, was not particularly substantive, and the two haven’t talked since.

Up until this point, the rumors about Louis C.K.’s behavior towards women have been just that — rumors, whispered about in small circles, but never openly discussed. Today, Death and Taxes draws our attention to a month-old episode of comedian Jen Kirkman’s “I Seem Fun” podcast, in which she describes a pervy comedian that sounds an awful lot like Louis C.K. (Skip ahead to minute 31 above.)

And then I had another guy who is a very famous comic. He is probably at Cosby level at this point. He is lauded as a genius. He is basically a French filmmaker at this point. You know, new material every year. He’s a known perv. And there’s a lockdown on talking about him. His guy friends are standing by him, and you cannot say a bad thing about him. And I’ve been told by people “Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.” If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that. They didn’t threaten it. They just said to me “You know what Jen, it’s not worth it because you’ll be torn apart. Look at the Cosby women.” And this guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard. Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him. And it was really fucked up, and this person was married. So it was not good, and so I hold a lot of resentment.

I am not personally super familiar with Louis C.K.’s work, but Death and Taxes writer Jordan Frieman is and he notes that Louis is known for producing new material every year and that he is obviously influenced by French new wave cinema. It certainly seems to me that these rumors have legs and that, as Frieman writes, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire. But until someone is brave enough to come forward and make a direct accusation, what can be done? To be clear, I’m not suggesting that doing so would be easy for any of the alleged victims to put their career on the line, or even that it’s their responsibility to take this rich, powerful comedian to task. It sounds like female comics have passed along this information amongst themselves, so new women on the comedy scene at least know to be on guard where Louis C.K. is concerned. But if the rumors are true and Louis C.K. is vile and abusive to women, I hope one of his friends — who have allegedly been protecting his behavior for years — finally has the courage to stand up and say ENOUGH. [Death & Taxes]

UPDATE 6/2/15: The episode of Jen Kirkman’s podcast has been pulled with a copy still available at Death and Taxes. As of this update, no one’s made an official, permanent statement regarding these allegations.