Since the Louis C.K. news dropped, there have been a lot of questions about how the coverup lasted so long.
How did so many of his supposedly conscientious friends in the comedy world NOT know about his mistreatment of women? And if they did, why didn’t they say anything?
One pal who’s looking to explain his own complicity is the oversharing Marc Maron. On his WTF podcast on Monday, the comic said of course he’d heard the rumors. But when he asked, his friend Louis lied to his face.
And based on his response, it seems pretty clear he had no intention of coming clean on his own.
Ch-ch-check out Marc’s recollection of that convo, via The Wrap (below):
“Sadly, I knew what most people knew: There was a story out there, I guess going back several years, there were unnamed people in the story, it took place in a hotel room in Aspen. It was always out there, but then it would pick up momentum at different times. And I would ask him about it. I would say, ├óΓé¼╦£This story about you forcing these women to watch you jerk off, what is that, is that true?’ He goes, ‘No, it’s not true. It’s not real. It’s a rumor.’
And I would say, ├óΓé¼╦£Well, are you going to address it somehow? Handle it? Get out from under it whenever it shows up?’ ‘No I can’t, I can’t do that. I can’t give it life, give it air.’ That was the conversation.”
So why not believe women??
Maron says there were no women to believe before Friday. Everything he heard were secondhand rumors, never any women’s names. So it was easier to deny the truth:
“So I believed my friend. It’s just that the environment enabled the dismissiveness of it… It is pushed aside, it is dismissed, it is framed as an annoyance or an embarrassment, it is used against people, it is used as a threat, that is the structure that exists in life.”
Maron went on to say he knows how pernicious the problem is — it even happened to him. He revealed that once in college a male professor kissed him without his consent, and how uncomfortable even that small transgression made him:
“It’s scarring, even if it’s mundane. What I went through was mundane ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ there were no cocks involved ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ but it’s something women go through all the time. It was a disrespect of personal boundaries.”
So what can we do when we hear gossip about this kind of thing? Obviously we can’t just all believe every rumor we hear, if only for Rod Stewart‘s sake.
But what we do need to do is create an environment in which victims feel safe coming forward — and then BELIEVE THEM.
[Image via FayesVision/Patricia Schlein/WENN.]