fogn.png
Saturday September 26th, 2020 4:40AM

After time in the wilderness, Louis CK is welcomed in Israel

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOLON, Israel (AP) — Two years after being swept up in the #MeToo movement and acknowledging sexual misconduct with multiple women, comedian Louis C.K. took to the stage at a nearly packed basketball arena outside Tel Aviv, where the audience seemed ready to let it go.

“How have your last couple of years been?” he asked near the start of the hour-long set Thursday night, before describing himself sitting in a restaurant, eating alone, as someone at another table gives him the finger for the duration of the meal.

Later in the set, he acknowledged his transgressions, saying that even though he had asked permission before masturbating in front of women, it had been a mistake. “If they say ‘yes,’ then still don’t do it, because it’s not popular.”

The 52-year-old comedian’s career imploded in November 2017 after he acknowledged complaints of harassment reported by the New York Times, most of which involved him masturbating in the presence of women he knew professionally. Some of the women said they feared their careers would suffer if they discussed the incidents, which took place more than a decade ago.

C.K. released a statement after the Times report, saying “these stories are true.” He acknowledged abusing his power over others and causing them pain but did not publicly apologize.

Earlier this month, one of his five accusers disputed that his behavior was consensual. “We never agreed nor asked him to take all his clothes off and masturbate to completion in front of us,” Julia Wolov wrote in an op-ed for the Canadian Jewish News.

The revelations, which came at the height of the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse in the workplace, led to the cancellation of C.K.’s numerous TV contracts and the scrapping of his feature-length film, “I Love You, Daddy,” shortly before its release.

The comedian vowed to “step back and take a long time to listen.”

But he returned to the stage less than a year later, and is now on an international tour that includes several sold-out shows. Protesters have gathered outside some of them, including a small demonstration outside his first show in Tel Aviv organized by Kulan, a local women’s advocacy group.

Bracha Barad, the group’s director, said those attending the show were “normalizing sexual violence.”

“They are basically telling him everything is OK, you’re not going to pay a price for this and you will be given a stage,” she told the local Kan TV.

There were no protests Thursday outside the arena in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

Most of the more than a dozen audience members who spoke to The Associated Press had heard about the scandal. Some said they didn’t know the details or that it wasn’t clear whether he had done anything wrong. Several young men attending the show declined to comment. “Twitter is fragile,” one muttered as he strode away. “Feminists.”

The show drew an audience of around 5,000 men and women of all ages. Most appeared to be fans who felt the severity of the misconduct was not enough to justify a boycott.

“We don’t support what he did to those women, but we like him as a comedian,” said Asaf, who came to the show with his wife, Tal. They declined to give their last name out of privacy concerns. “It’s not like he raped someone,” he added.

“It’s like a little bit complicated,” Tal said. She noted that C.K. had reportedly asked permission before masturbating in front of the women and said it shouldn’t end the career of a “genius.” But she also acknowledged the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct.

She finally concluded that paying to see Louis C.K. was “like supporting animal rights and still eating meat.”

C.K. alluded to the scandal on a number of occasions throughout the performance. He said he used to love New York City, his home for many years, but that now he hates it, implying it’s because of the negative attention he receives.

“I’d rather be in Auschwitz than New York City,” he told the almost entirely Israeli audience, which broke out in laughter and applause. “I mean now, not when it was open.”

The set was similar to his past material, with wry observations punctuated by raunchy and irreverent punchlines whose humor came largely from their shock value. There was an extended discussion of the history of using the term “retarded,” and passing references to the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks.

He did not repeat an earlier bit in which he made fun of school shooting survivors who had become gun control advocates, which had outraged many and raised concerns among some fans that he would reinvent himself as a right-wing comedian railing against political correctness.

Instead, he displayed some of the same sensitivity to sexual abuse that had earned him praise from many feminists before his rapid downfall.

After discussing his own misconduct, he observed that in sexual situations women sometimes act as though everything is OK when they are actually fearful or disgusted — and that men mistake this for consent. He compared it to listening to African-American slave spirituals and mistaking them for an expression of contentment.

It was perhaps the closest C.K. came to acknowledging that he had learned something deeper from his misconduct and its aftermath, and it was well-received, just like all the other jokes. Those who were prepared to forgive C.K. before the show emerged even more reassured.

“It was just hilarious,” Shiri Ayalon said as she left the arena.

“As a woman who’s been very aware of everything that has happened over the #MeToo movement and all of that, I’d say that he’s probably the only celebrity who’s expressed regret over what he had done and was willing to actually address it,” she said.

“I think he should probably be un-boycotted.”

___

Follow Joseph Krauss on Twitter at www.twitter.com/josephkrauss

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Police shoot man on London Bridge after stabbings
British police have shot a man on London Bridge in the heart of Britain’s capital after a stabbing that left several people wounded
11:23AM ( 6 minutes ago )
After time in the wilderness, Louis CK is welcomed in Israel
Two years after sexual misconduct revelations cratered his career, comedian Louis C.K. gets a warm welcome in Israel
11:18AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Germany’s Daimler to cut at least 10,000 jobs over 3 years
Daimler says it plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022
10:57AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Georgia vs Georgia Tech: A rivalry that lost its luster
Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry has become ‘Clean, Old-Fashioned Domination’
10:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Olympic champion Mo Farah to make track comeback in 10,000
Olympic champion Mo Farah says he will return to the track and wants to defend his 10,000-meter title at next year’s Tokyo Games
6:59AM ( 4 hours ago )
Unai Emery fired as Arsenal manager after losing run
Unai Emery has been fired by Arsenal, 18 months after succeeding Arsene Wenger as manager of the Premier League club
5:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Sports
Walker scores 39, Celtics beat Nets 121-110
Kemba Walker returned from a neck injury to score a season-high 39 points and Boston beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-110 on a night the fans seemed more interested in taunting former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving
9:45AM ( 1 day ago )
Davis’ 41 points lead Lakers past Pelicans, 114-110
Anthony Davis capped off a 41-point performance in his return to New Orleans by intercepting Jrue Holiday’s inbound pass with 5 seconds left and making a pair of game-sealing free throws
3:25AM ( 1 day ago )
Bucks beat Hawks 111-102 in Middleton's return
Bucks beat Hawks, 111-102, in Khris Middleton's return as Antetokounmpo scores 30
11:59PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Party like a spy: Spookstock is intel world’s hush-hush bash
It’s mischievously known as Spookstock and while many Washington insiders haven’t heard of it, the annual charitable event has become a centerpiece for Washington’s tightknit intelligence and military special operations communities
9:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Rod Stewart: Rocker turned model railroad builder
Rod Stewart, known for decades as a consummate crooner, rocker, fashion plate and tongue-in-cheek sex symbol, is adding a new element to his image: serious model railroad builder
8:06AM ( 3 hours ago )
Publisher says he’s hearing interest in nonprofit turn
The publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune says he’s heard from other newspaper executives and lawyers who wonder if his idea of going nonprofit will work for them
7:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Police shoot man on London Bridge after stabbings
British police have shot a man on London Bridge in the heart of Britain’s capital after a stabbing that left several people wounded
11:23AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Germany’s Daimler to cut at least 10,000 jobs over 3 years
Daimler says it plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022
10:57AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Black Friday frenzy goes global - and not everyone’s happy
People don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France, or Denmark, or the Czech Republic _ but they do shop on Black Friday
10:44AM ( 46 minutes ago )
The Latest: London police treat incident as terror-related
London’s Metropolitan Police say that though the circumstances of an incident on London Bridge remain unclear, authorities are treating it as if it is terror-related
10:32AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Tech, health care companies lead US stocks slightly lower
Stocks are edging lower in early trading on Wall Street as the market pulls back after a week of record highs for the major indexes
10:23AM ( 1 hour ago )