In case you’ve been living in blissful ignorance, last week The New York Times published an expose putting long-rumored allegations against comedian Louis CK, namely his habit of forcing female colleagues to watch him masturbate, on the record. According to the article, one of the reasons these allegations—which CK has since confirmed are true—stayed in the realm of rumor for so long was CK’s now-former manager Dave Becky. Becky reportedly pressured comedians Dana Goodman and Julia Wolov to keep quiet about their run-in with CK in Aspen, Colorado in 2002, a charge that was confirmed to the New York Times by one of the women’s managers. At the time, Becky told the paper, “I never threatened anyone.”
Now Becky, who dropped CK after the article broke but still represents comedians including Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, and Amy Poehler, has released a statement that partially walks back his earlier claims. Now he says that, yes, he did ask Goodman and Wolov to keep quiet about what happened, but only because CK was married at the time and he didn’t want stories of adultery leaking to the press. “Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual,” he claims. He also says he only knew about this one incident, and was “appalled” to hear the rest of the story.
Believe him or don’t, but the full text of Becky’s statement, obtained via Entertainment Weekly, is below.
I profoundly regret and am deeply sorry for not listening to and not understanding what happened to Dana and Julia. If I had, I would have taken this event as seriously as it deserved to be, and I would have confronted Louis, which would have been the right thing to do.
I am providing this context so that others do not make the same mistake I did. At that time, I heard the story third-hand, and I interpreted the conversation as two women telling a story about a sexual encounter with a then-married Louis. Albeit enormously embarrassing, in no way did I interpret the interaction as threatening or non-consensual. I misperceived the casual way the story was portrayed to me — instead, I should have recognized that it must have been a mask for their unease and discomfort in the face of his detestable behavior. My intent was to seek discretion to protect what I thought was a matter of infidelity. I now comprehend that my response was perceived as a threat to cover-up sexual misconduct. This is not an excuse. What I did was wrong, and again, I am extremely sorry.
In hindsight, I was operating blindly from a one-sided place of privilege. Until last week, I knew only of this one isolated incident. Although this may sound naïve, it is true. Never once, in all of these years, did anyone mention any of the other incidents that were reported recently — I am appalled to learn of these. I have come to realize my status wielded an atmosphere where such news did not reach me, or worse yet, that it seemed such news did not matter to me. It does. It matters tremendously.
I am going to take time to reflect on this, to educate myself daily, and to strive towards a more enlightened path. I want to ensure that all voices around me are heard, and that everyone is treated respectfully and empathetically. More than anything, I want to create an environment that is a better, safer and fairer place.