One of the most unfortunate side effects of the #MeToo movement is how holding predators accountable might affect innocent bystanders who weren’t complicit in or responsible for their actions.
One good example of this is Pamela Adlon’s excellent Better Things, which she co-wrote with Louis C.K. Last year. Louis C.K.’s career was sidelined when the New York Times published a piece in which five women accused him of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of them without their consent. Better Things will thankfully still continue to air on FX, just without C.K.’s involvement (same goes for other shows he produced on FX, which included Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops.)
Nevertheless, Louis C.K. was a close friend of the Adlon family; Pamela played Louie’s on-again-off-again girlfriend on Louie and Pamela’s daughter, Gideon Adlon, has even had a cameo on Louie. In a recent interview, Gideon, who is herself a newcomer to Hollywood, spoke eloquently about the impact the revelations about Louis C.K.’s predatory behavior has had on her, her career, and her mom.
Gideon stars in the new Seth Rogen-produced comedy Blockers alongside John Cena and Leslie Mann. She’s still at the beginning of her career, but already has much more intelligent and nuanced things to say than a lot of people who have been in Hollywood for decades, as evidenced by a recent interview with The Cut.
“My family’s been through a lot recently, in light of the whole #MeToo movement,” Adlon said, bringing it up herself rather than waiting for the interviewer to bring it up. “It’s been really difficult… But I really think that, you know, every single story, doesn’t matter if it’s personal to me or whatever, every single story that has come out has created a safer workspace for me, what with me just starting in the industry.”
Still, the fact that the industry might be generally improving doesn’t erase the fact that the same people who helped create the sexist power imbalance that allowed men like Louis C.K. to act inappropriately for years also sometimes created excellent art. We should not continue to give these people a platform, but what happens to the excellent work that went into Louie or Better Things? It’s a complicated question with an even more complicated answer, and it’s one that Gideon has been struggling with intelligently because of how her family is positioned within the movement.
“My mom’s great, you know,” she says. “At the end of the day, she wrote a show with him; she made art with him. It’s always difficult, you have to keep moving forward, and like I was saying, all these stories just keep empowering a movement and make women stronger and provide a safer workspace for us. And I feel like there’s more respect because men are more careful now.”
“My mom’s not responsible for what someone else has done. I don’t know how much I should say about it, because I don’t want to make my mom upset,” Gideon says. “It’s a hard subject, and they’re very close friends, and I loved him dearly, and he’s not a terrible person, and I’m scared to say this stuff.”
“Regardless of what he meant to whoever, it’s good that these things came out. But it does suck,” she concludes.
You can read the rest of Gideon’s interview over at The Cut.