Does Louis C.K. really deserve a second chance?
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Does Louis C.K. really deserve a second chance?

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Louis C.K. recently performed a surprise stand-up set at the Comedy Cellar in New York, his first public appearance since being accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Some fellow comics and fans argue he can't remain in exile forever, but others disagree. Detractors say his public statement isn't a real apology and paints him as the victim, and letting a known sexual predator back into comedy clubs is disgusting and dangerous. What do you think? 🗣️

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Five women accused of Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct in 2017, resulting in the comedian being placed into exile. He eventually admitted to the allegations and most of his projects were dropped last year. But he's returned with a surprise set at the Comedy Cellar in New York, receiving a standing ovation. NBC News reports: 

Louis C.K., the comedian and filmmaker who retreated from the limelight last year after admitting to sexual misconduct, returned to the stand-up stage on Sunday, according to a report.
He appeared at the famed Comedy Cellar in New York's Greenwich Village around 11 p.m. on Sunday, receiving an ovation before he launched into his set, the club's owner, Noam Dworman, told the New York Times.
Dworman described the 15-minute routine as "typical Louis C.K. stuff" — sardonic jokes about racism, waitresses tips, parades. The comedian, reportedly clad in a black T-shirt and gray pants, apparently did not address the misconduct claims or the #MeToo movement.
"It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act," Dworman said.
Five women have accused Louis C.K. of inappropriate sexual conduct dating back more than a decade, including two comedians who claim he masturbated in front of them in a Colorado hotel room in 2002, the Times reported last November.

But his comeback has caused outrage, with many arguing that a known sexual predator should not be allowed be back into comedy clubs, or any public space.

But Hollywood Reporter's Stuart Miller wrote earlier this year that Louis C.K. would be able to make a comeback at comedy clubs. Fellow comics gave their input on how the comic can make a sincere return.

Eileen Koch, founder of the branding and public relations firm Eileen Koch & Company, who represents Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jamie Foxx and Carmen Electra, says C.K. doesn't even need to wait that long if he gives a sincere apology. But she adds that if he is just saying sorry to get his career back, people will see through that, and she believes he should go on a serious program like 60 Minutes as opposed to addressing it in a comedic environment.
C.K.'s fellow comics disagree. Christopher Titus thinks C.K. should avoid the mea culpa interviews. “He needs to work on his best comedy about how he was a douche and how he is trying to make amends to women.”
Comic Sean Patton echoes that notion, saying, “The only way he comes back is if he heals — he should do an hour special that breaks down why it was wrong and how he’s made amends.”
Both Faranda and Dworman say they’d hand C.K. their microphones tomorrow. They expect he’ll address the issue. “He’s not going to come out and talk about climate change,” says comic Judy Gold, who appeared on Louie.
But Titus warns that C.K.’s redemption can’t seem too easy. “If that had been a homeless guy in a raincoat doing it to your wife, you’d want him in jail,” he says. “Just because he had fame and made people laugh, I don’t think he should get a hall pass. He has to earn it.”

But detractors say the thought of C.K. making a comeback so soon is disgusting. He not only included stories about masturbation and his sexual misconduct in his stand-up, but some argue his apology last year was not sincere. His detractors argue Louis C.K. basically blamed the survivors of his misconduct and argued that he was the real victim. Quartz edited his public statement to make it into a real apology, while also explaining that his apology is actually not a real one. 

However, Louis C.K.’s “apology” devolves into an attempt to paint himself as suffering and worthy of sympathy. He says that until the Times report, he did not realize the full extent of the harm he caused women by taking out his penis and masturbating in front of them. He also tries to reduce his culpability by noting that, at the time of his actions, he thought simply asking if it was OK to masturbate in front of women was enough to guarantee consent.

Mashable's Jess Joho also wrote that C.K. shouldn't be forgiven for doing the bare minimum.

Within mere hours of C.K. issuing his statement, the internet fell over itself to commend him for the brave act of finally admitting he is, in fact, a sexual harasser and feels bad about it — now that there's a New York Times story about it, anyway.
And as C.K. fans (and even some of his critics) pat him on the back for doing the literal least he could by not lying anymore, some conservatives continue to make excuses for Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge and U.S. Senate candidate accused of initiating a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
[...]
Louis C.K. made one not-totally-god-awful PR move: His statement read: "These stories are true." Promising start. From there, he covers his ass legally by implying a level of consent from his victims by claiming he, "never showed a woman my dick without asking first," then he fails to apologize to his victims even once but has enough time to reference how "admired" and "looked up to" he was — four times — as a weird way of deflecting blame to his celebrity or, to an extent, his victims.

Detractors argue it's a dangerous move to allow a known sexual predator—who hasn't taken full responsibility for his actions—back into comedy spaces. 

But supporters say he can't be exiled forever. 

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