Despite countless attempts to label the #MeToo movement and its aftermath a “witch hunt” led by heinous women, it should be clear how difficult it is to point fingers at abusers, harassers, and bad men, even if that man's behavior is an open secret.
“The day Louis C.K. asked to masturbate in front of me on the set of the TV show we were shooting, I was put on an unspoken ‘list’ I never asked or wanted to be on. And being on that list has not made my work as a writer, actress, and comedian any easier,” Corry wrote. “For 12 years, I actively tried to not be part of the C.K. masturbation narrative.”
But Corry admits she couldn’t escape the narrative, so she eventually shared her story with the New York Times last November. In 2005, C.K. asked Corry if he could masturbate in front of her, while on the set of a TV show. She declined. “I had no choice but to face the fact that I’d been forced into a lose-lose situation, and staying silent was not helping,” she wrote. “Every single day, I implore people to stand up for victims, but I wasn’t even standing up for myself. For these reasons, and for others too personal to mention, I made the difficult decision to change the narrative by telling the truth.”
For Corry, coming forward had its own set of consequences. “Since speaking out, I’ve experienced vicious and swift backlash from women and men, in and out of the comedy community. I’ve received death threats, been berated, judged, ridiculed, dismissed, shamed, and attacked,” she wrote. “Some have said, ‘He just asked to jerk off in front of you, what’s the big deal?’ And I can’t count how many times people have told me, ‘Well, he did say sorry.’ But he didn’t. Admitting what you did, and justifying it with ‘I always asked first,’ is not the same as apologizing.”
Corry’s essay serves as reminder of the lasting effects harassment and abuse have on people long after they experience it. For over a month, rumors have circulated that Louis C.K. is prepping his impending “comeback.”
“The idea that C.K. reentering the public eye would ever be considered a ‘comeback’ story is disturbing. The guy exploited his position of power to abuse women,” she wrote. “C.K. is a rich, powerful man who was fully aware that his actions were wrong...The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, and the journalists who cover them, would do well to focus on the people struggling in the aftermath.”
Read Corry’s full piece here.