Yesterday it was widely reported that human garbage dump Louis C.K. returned to stand up, performing a set at NYC’s Comedy Cellar. This quickly enraged many people with the fundamental understanding that a man who admitted to masturbating in front of non-consenting peers shouldn’t be able to return like everything is fine less than a year later.
But others disagree, and among them is SNL "Weekend Update" host Michael Che, who is co-hosting the Emmys with Colin Jost next month. Che is no stranger to problematic views about the way women are treated in this world. Take his 2014 comments mocking street harassment, for example. Now he’s decided to stand behind C.K.’s return to comedy because “any free person has a right to speak and make a living.” Sure, but can’t he just work somewhere else?
Che went on Instagram to air out these bad opinions. The sum of it reads: “What’s interesting to me about these articles against Louis CK performing again, is how important fame is to people. A lot of what I read says that CK shouldn’t get to be a ‘famous’ comedian anymore. Because to them, he’s still winning. Isn’t that strange? Meaning he can be shamed, humiliated, lose millions of dollars, lose all of his projects, lose the respect of a lot of his fans and peers, and whatever else that comes with what he did, but since he can still do a comedy set for free at a 200 seat club a year later, it means he got off easy. THAT’s how coveted fame is.”
One of the problems with Che’s argument is that it completely ignores the fact that having sexual abusers return to their field after an unsubstantial apology and a few months of hiding reinforces how little we care about the safety, trauma, and humanity of survivors in favor of the humanity of the rich and powerful. Che reinforces this ignorance when responding to a fan who asks what Louis C.K. “deserves.”
“Man, I don’t really know. I haven’t talked to him in a while. I don’t know any of his accusers. I don’t know what he’s done to right that situation, and it’s none of my business. But I do believe any free person has a right to speak and make a living,” Che replied, per the Daily Beast.
Che myopically chooses this opinion, while completely ignoring the calls of women comedians to have C.K. do a lot more work before his return. For some, it’s a logical safety concern.
“Can you imagine the bank you're working at hiring back the guy who jacked off in front of women without their consent because it had been like, a year or something?” comedian Ian Karmel asked the Daily Beast. “It seems so obvious that we shouldn't let these people back into our communities without them putting in a lot of work to get better.”
Welp. It’s hard to give two turds about the Emmys now.