Marc Maron and Louis C.K. have rarely had an easy relationship. They were friends, then they had a falling out (this was around the time C.K.’s stock rose in the comedy world), then they made nice again, with C.K. appearing on what Slate called the “greatest podcast episode ever.” Maron later returned the favor by satirizing their quarrel on Louie. C.K. hasn’t been the sole guest on WTF since that 2010 two-parter (he shared billing with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 2016), but Maron had a lot to say about him in the most recent episode.
Following the New York Times report detailing five women who said C.K. masturbated in front of them, Maron revealed that the I Love You, Daddy writer/director/star lied to him when asked if the rumors were true.
“Sadly, I knew what most people knew: There was a story out there,” Maron said. “And I would ask him about it. I would say, ‘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, ‘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.”
He continued, “So when it comes to believing women, I want to believe women, but in this particular instance, there was no one named in that [Louis C.K. blind item], there was no place for women to go tell this story, there were no women attached to it. I didn’t know their names until Friday. So I believed my friend. It’s just that the environment enabled the dismissiveness of it. How do I put this? The work environment, the social environment makes it difficult for people to come forward and be heard, to be listened to, to be believed, and for action to be taken around that. 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 also detailed a moment from his youth, when a professor, someone he admired, unexpectedly kissed him. The incident left him feeling uneasy. “It’s scarring, even if it’s mundane,” he said. “What I went through was mundane — there were no cocks involved — but it’s something women go through all the time. It was a disrespect of personal boundaries.”
You can listen to the entire WTF episode (with guest Kim Deal!) here.