Louis CK’s contemporaries in the stand-up scene have had some harsh words for the disgraced comedian, who returned to the stage last year after admitting to allegations of exposing himself to female employees and other comedians without their consent. Sasheer Zamata and Pete Davidson have taken public swipes at CK in recent months, and now Hannah Gadsby, on the verge of releasing of her Nanette follow-up, Douglas, has unloaded on the comedian in a new interview with the L.A. Times.
“He is a joke now,” she said after the Times brought up a joke in which she says she “quit comedy the same way Louis C.K. said he was sorry.”
She continued, touching on the comedian’s refusal to acknowledge the power dynamics at play in his offending behavior, a fitting theme since she’s described Douglas as being concerned with “dynamics of power and privilege.”
“And I think it’s important to keep making that joke,” she says. “This is dangerous to talk about, but I’ll give it a go. What the issue is, for a long time Louis CK’s comedy platform was that he was this hopeless guy bumbling through the world. And at some stage, he was no longer that, but that was still his voice. And I think he still believes that. He has not reassessed his position of power, and that is why he was able to abuse it. It’s difficult to see a shift in your own power and privilege. It’s not something we’re trained to do. He still honestly thinks he’s the victim in all of this.”
“If you’re used to controlling a narrative and then you’re witnessing it go to a different place, you will not let go,” she continues. “He’s a trapped man. He’s doing his comedy from a position of defensiveness.”
She goes on to note, though, that “censorship” isn’t a beneficial response, saying it’s “useless because it leaves a gap where we learned a lesson.” She adds, “[I]f you were to wipe him from our collective memory, we not only lose what he did well, we lose what he did badly. And we can learn from both.”