Comedy on State is bringing known abuser Louis C.K. to their establishment July 25-27 for a total of five phone-free performances. While these performances are listed on the venue’s website, they were not posted on social media, further indicating that Comedy on State hopes to make money off a performer who alienates many local comedians and patrons of their venue with impunity.
In 2017, five women accused C.K. of sexual misconduct in a New York Times report. In spite of those who defend him, Louis C.K. admitted to the behavior. In his own words, “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.” C.K. ‘s break from comedy was short lived, however, and he kicked off comedy shows after the allegations with jokes inspired by his own admitted sexual misconduct.
In addition to joking about his own abusive behavior, Louis C.K. has long gotten a pass for tasteless jokes about the Holocaust, disabilities, and transgender people. As socialist feminists, we stand strongly opposed to platforming abusers, and we believe Louis C.K. must be held accountable for his abuse and oppressive rhetoric.
Sexual violence is a widespread and pervasive public health issue as well as a cultural problem. Rape culture is comprised of the patterns and behaviors that results in 81% of women reporting experiencing sexual harassment or assault in their lifetimes. This is impermissible. We as socialist feminists demand change in our city.
Comedy is already a field dominated by cisgender men. Comedy on State is upholding this exclusive culture and actively making the choice to foster an environment that is dangerous to women, transgender people, and survivors/victims of sexual violence. Furthermore, uplifting abuser Louis C.K. sends the message to survivors everywhere that their abuse will not be believed and perpetuates the impunity abusers can reliably expect.
Boycott Comedy On State.
In booking Louis C.K., Comedy on State has sent a clear message to survivors of sexual violence that their safety is less valuable than selling out their venue. In light of the above, the MADSA Socialist Feminist Working Group calls for a boycott of Comedy on State. If the comedy club refuses to acknowledge how choosing profit over people is an immoral act, they do not deserve our money or our support. No venue that perpetuates violence and upholds rape culture should be patroned.
We demand that Comedy on State remove Louis CK’s five shows immediately and issue an apology to survivors for supporting a known sexual abuser.
Socialist Feminist Working Group of Madison Area DSA