Louis C.K. and the Recording Academy faced a backlash Monday after the US comedian was awarded a Grammy, five years after sexual misconduct revelations temporarily derailed his high-flying career.
C.K. – who admitted to masturbating in front of multiple women following a newspaper expose in 2017 – won best comedy album on Sunday for a show addressing his scandal, but did not attend the ceremony in Las Vegas.
Many on social media questioned or criticized the ease with which Academy voters apparently forgave or overlooked his past behavior.
“Amazing. Louis CK serially abused women but gets to keep his career and even get a Grammy,” tweeted Atima Omara, a writer and political strategist.
Describing herself as a “former fan” of C.K., Twitter user @iron_eliza said she was “really, REALLY not okay with whoever decided to UN-cancel Louis CK.”
In November 2017, The New York Times published allegations against C.K. by five women, who accused him of masturbating or asking to masturbate in front of them or on the telephone, in separate incidents dating from the late 1990s to 2005.
C.K. swiftly issued a statement confirming that “these stories are true,” and his mainstream career went up in flames.
The scandal emerged just a month after revelations about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein triggered the global #MeToo movement.
In 2020, C.K. released comedy special “Sincerely Louis C.K.” – recorded the previous year – in which he said he had “learned a lot.”
“I learned how to eat alone in a restaurant with people giving me the finger from across the room,” he said.
Last August, C.K. began his first major international tour since the revelations.
Comedian and TV writer Jen Kirkman was among several on Sunday who compared the treatment of C.K. with the reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last month.
Kirkman wrote on Twitter that male comedians had expressed alarm when Chris Rock was slapped, but were “SILENT 2nite on Louis CK winning a Grammy for an album where he jokes about his assaults” on women.