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DaltonMaltz

Episode 113 - Has Louis C.K. Earned a Second Chance?

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Fellow Earwolf host Jo Firestone (Dr. Gameshow) and comedian Kaitlin Fontana (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) join Negin to dish about Bob Woodward’s new book, the anonymous anti-Trump New York Times op-ed and Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Plus, the panel asks: What’s the right time for a second chance and has Louis C.K. earned his?

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Made an account just to comment on my disappointment on the discourse around Louis. The second you find yourself talking out loud trying to compare and relativize trauma, I pray an alarm sets off in your brain to let you know you are NOT on the right path. Negin completely minimized and diminished the trauma of the people louis has scarred, essentially with the argument "hey at least you weren't r*ped". There was some discussion around the pitfalls of that but it was done in a way that just didn't feel assertive at all (more of a "oh uh in my opinion you can't tell traumatized people that their trauma isn't that bad because it's not r*pe just saying haha cool!" than a "hey, this is not okay to say"). It's true r*pe is an intensely serious, heinous thing which creates deep trauma. What does that have to do with the issue at hand again? Some things just don't quantify, no matter what mental gymnastics  or metric based loopholes you try to apply. Bringing out hypotheticals which strip Louis of the power dynamic at hand is gonna be fruitless too, because guess what it ends up the specific power dynamics and context of Louis's actions are crucial to considering the nature of the trauma he's inflicted, and the possibility for rehabilitation and consideration back into the community (this luckily was caught and discussed). It really bothered me the idea that "rehabilitation" seemed to simply involve spending time away, and the "would any of those things matter?" comment as far as donations, a letter from a therapist, addressing the issue directly, etc. really bothered me as well. The point of actions like those (one would hope) are to attempt to build trust with those who know you as someone who has deeply harmed others, to foster a shared awareness that you feel guilt and remorse for your past actions and  that you understand you must do more than the minimum to forge that trust in lieu of your past. So yes, a donation to a non-profit can either be a meaningful step in showing rehabilitation or it can be a callous attempt to buy your way back into the public's graces, it ends up completely  dependent on the continued context of future action and conversation stemming from louis (or any "disgraced" public figure). Do I really have to be the one to say life is complicated? and that some situations refuse reduction, and rightfully so? I really needed them to step back and say "look, there is no single penance that can be created in some logical manner and absolve louis", but that didn't happen. The reintroduction of a figure into the public's eye after something like this will always carry with it the reality of their past actions, and forgiveness is a disaggregated, individual experience (I mean, I'd say a majority of Male comedy fans have thought Louis should just keep doing comedy since day 1). Hearing the discussion take the main points of: 1) it wasn't like it was rape or something "worse" and 2) how much time should Louis be only mildly involved (punching up scripts, etc.) in comedy before he's all good? was so frustrating. I wanted the questions "what does louis's future need to look like for us to believe he's aware of his need to atone?" and "What are actions louis could and SHOULD take to rehabilitate and what is the conversation he needs to have with the public?" to center conversation, and that just wasn't the discussion.  I hope this doesn't sound too on the offensive, this is an emotional issue and having enjoyed listening to some of the previous I had semi-high expectations for this conversation. 

 

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You know when Louis C.K. had his second chance? After his first victim. Since he didn't take that chance then, here we are now. I'm not sure why the internet is so puzzled about what he could or should do -- is the mystique of celebrity that powerful? Because here's a couple things common folk do, when they're caught: 1) cooperate with any criminal or civil cases his victims care to bring. 2) apologize to each of his victims personally, and do his best to make up for the harm he did them. 3) commit to long-term, in-patient treatment, in jail or out of jail. And what else could he do, as a celebrity? Since hosting "gee sorry, ladies" women's comedy galas or other show biz mea culpas would be too self-serving, volunteering at a male sex offender's treatment centre or half-way house, and ultimately building or funding one. Because stripped of all the excuses, a sex offender is what he is.

And if he can do all that, he can start back with comedy any time he pleases. Because he'll be a different person.

Edited by Janice
another idea
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Really well put, both of you. To the point nothing more needs to be said.

On 9/9/2018 at 6:06 PM, AlpacaSwag said:

"what does louis's future need to look like for us to believe he's aware of his need to atone?" and "What are actions louis could and SHOULD take to rehabilitate and what is the conversation he needs to have with the public?"

 

On 9/10/2018 at 11:23 AM, Janice said:

volunteering at a male sex offender's treatment centre or half-way house, and ultimately building or funding one. Because stripped of all the excuses, a sex offender is what he is.

And if he can do all that, he can start back with comedy any time he pleases. Because he'll be a different person.

Again, you guys got all I wanted to say said better than I could. Thanks.

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