One of Louis C.K.’s accusers is disputing a Canadian comedy club CEO’s reasons for booking the standup superstar earlier this year.
Julia Wolov says she is “infuriated” by an article written by Yuk Yuk’s founder Mark Breslin for the Canadian Jewish News that downplays sexual misconduct she and several other women faced from the disgraced comic.
The L.A.-based comedy writer penned a counterpoint that lists several inaccuracies in Breslin’s article, which claimed she and others consented to sexual behaviour that occurred more than 10 years ago. The comic admitted to exposing himself to several women while in a position of power following a bombshell 2017 New York Times report involving five accusers.
Wolov says she hasn’t spoken about her experiences since that New York Times story, but was moved to go public this week because Breslin touted C.K.’s Jewish heritage as another reason to support him. Wolov says she and three of his other accusers from the article are also Jewish.
She says she did not consent to C.K. undressing and masturbating in front of her, and to suggest otherwise is wrong.
Breslin booked C.K. for a string of sold-out shows in Toronto in October. He declined further comment but says in his article that “rattling the cage of polite society is part of the job of comics, onstage and off.”
Since coming forward, Wolov says she has only worked once and believes she has been passed over for writing jobs because of the controversy. And while she doubts C.K. will ever work commercially again, she notes that he seems to have no trouble booking standup gigs.
The allegations had swift impact on the comedy giant — he lost a production deal at FX; his dark comedy, “I Love You, Daddy,” was pulled from distribution; and Netflix dropped a planned C.K. stand-up special.
But C.K. eventually returned to the club circuit, and recently launched a world tour that includes dates in the United States, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia and Hungary.
In November 2017, Wolov and her comedy partner Dana Min Goodman told the New York Times that C.K. stripped and masturbated in front of them in 2002 after inviting the duo to his hotel room to celebrate their performance at a comedy festival in Aspen, Colo.
Wolov says they don’t regret speaking out but that the fallout “has been difficult.”
“He won’t go away and it won’t go away. We really want to do something so we aren’t just the girls who Louis C.K. masturbated in front of because we aren’t that. We’ve been doing this for 26 years, we’ve been writing and performing and now that’s our new title.”
Breslin’s article was posted Friday, and Wolov’s counterpoint was published Tuesday. Neither Breslin nor the Canadian Jewish News would comment further.
Wolov says there have been “hundreds of articles” about the controversy in the past two years but that Breslin’s piece in particular struck a nerve.
“I just found it absolutely disgusting the way he made excuses and sort of normalized what Louis C.K. did,” says the 47-year-old comedy writer, who does not perform standup.
“But the thing that really got me (was) at the end how he reveals that Louis C.K.’s grandfather was a Jew so he’s even happier to put him up in his comedy club. I’m Jewish. I was like, ‘No, no, no, no. You don’t get to go into my community and try and convince them and normalize what Louis C.K. did. I find that disgusting when basically the only reason (Breslin) did it was to make money.”
Wolov says she and Goodman are now writing a book about their friendship that will include a chapter about the allegations, although they have yet to find a publisher. They are also writing a dark comedy but Wolov says it hasn’t been easy pitching TV projects.
She worries about the message that Breslin’s attitude sends to other victims of sexual misconduct thinking about coming forward.
“There are days where I think, ‘God why did I do this?’” she says.
“If people are going to come out now they (will) see how it’s affected us. Why would they?”
Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press