The surprise return of Louis C.K. at the Comedy Cellar in New York City on Sunday night resulted in no shortage of controversy. Some defended the disgraced comedian, arguing that he should be afforded the opportunity to redeem himself and let audiences decide if he should be let back into their good graces. Others, however, pointed out that even in his so-called “apology” he didn’t really apologize to the women he sexually harassed, and that welcoming him back so soon was sending a clear message to female comics that their safety while performing in clubs is irrelevant.
Not to mention, not only did C.K. — a performer who is known from reaching into dark territory for his comedy — not address the allegations on stage, but he even went so far as to make a particularly tone deaf “rape whistle” joke that made at least a couple of women in the audience feel uncomfortable.
Yet, for better or worse, it seems like the male-dominated comedy club scene is overwhelmingly ready to welcome C.K. back with arms wide open, according to TMZ.
Louis Faranda, talent exec of Carolines on Broadway, tells us … the comedian is like a son to him — they personally go back to the beginning of C.K.’s career — and he’s a longtime friend of the club.
Faranda adds … “We all make bad mistakes in life and everyone deserves the right to be forgiven … I totally understand the plight of the women he offended, [but] I also love Louie C.K. and CANNOT turn my back to him ever!!”
Al Martin, owner of Broadway Comedy Club and Greenwich Village Comedy Club and Friars Club officer Bill Boggs expressed similar sentiments.
“Everyone is entitled to a second chance. I would book Louis,” stated Martin, unequivocally. “We were repulsed by his actions and there’s no question about that,” likewise expressed Boggs. “We can’t punish people for the rest of their lives; we can’t assume they haven’t learned. People can grow and change.”
That may be true, but part of growing and changing involves redemption, and the problem is that many feel that C.K. hasn’t earned that yet — if he ever will.