Louis C.K.’s Grammy Win for Best Comedy Album Sparks Backlash
The comedian was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017.
Louis C.K. Nabs Grammy
Louis C.K. picked up a Grammy award on Sunday night, almost five years after admitting to sexual misconduct allegations.
C.K. won Best Comedy Album for “Sincerely Louis C.K.,” which was his first release since his offenses came to public light. He joked about the scandal in his set.
The New York Times published a piece detailing the misconduct in 2017 around the height of the #MeToo movement. Five women told the outlet that C.K. masturbated in front of them.
“The power I had over these women is that they admired me,” he said in a statement admitting to the claims. “And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
He vowed to take a “step back” but returned to performance venues in 2018. He announced a tour in 2021.
Win Sparks Backlash
C.K.’s Grammy win has sparked backlash online from those who are frustrated that his work is being celebrated so soon after he admitted to sexual misconduct. Many argued that the “cancel culture” comedians so frequently bemoan does not actually exist.
“The reason Louis CK winning accolades is particularly egregious is because we’re not talking about allegations; we’re talking about acts of sexual assault that he admitted to,” one person wrote. “He is not innocent, by his own admission.”
Many also claimed that while C.K. and other alleged abusers have resumed their careers, the people who levied accusations against them often face more challenges rebounding from the controversy.
“I wonder if the careers of the women comedians Louis CK forced to watch him masturbate—who were allegedly threatened by CK’s manager—have recovered from the stigma of coming forward,” Moira Donegan, a gender and politics columnist at The Guardian tweeted. “Louis CK’s own career seems to have bounced back very well.”
Comparisons to Will Smith’s Oscars Slap and Hollywood Response
Others were also swift to compare C.K.’s win to the response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last week. The actor resigned from The Academy, and Netflix and Sony have reportedly put upcoming projects with Smith on pause. Many comedians reacted to the incident by claiming they feared how Smith’s actions could inspire copycat incidents in comedy clubs.
Because so many believe that Smith’s actions, though wrong, were not as heinous as C.K.’s, social media users argued that the backlash Smith has received is disproportionately severe.
“Remember when male comedians this week were like ‘Chris Rock got slapped!! Comedy is in danger!’ They never gave a fuck about those of us in comedy who were always in danger,” stand-up comic Jen Kirkman tweeted. “They’re SILENT 2nite on Louie CK winning a Grammy for an album where he jokes about his assaults.”
Comedian Megan Gailey pointed to the signs comedy clubs began hanging discouraging people from slapping performers in the wake of the Oscars slap.
“Okay but when will the comedy clubs put up signs to not sexually assault women?” she tweeted.
Others simply argued there was a double standard in the way Hollywood responded to Smith’s slap and C.K.’s multiple sexual misconduct claims.
“Louis CK just won a whole ass Grammy while y’all are either calling for Will Smith’s head or crying about cancel culture,” one person added. “There are no consequences for white cishet men.”
See what others are saying: (NPR) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Daily Beast)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.