Louis C.K. Admits to Exposing Himself, Issues Apology

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  • FX cuts ties with the producer of ‘Louie’ and four other shows
  • Fallout grows as Netflix, film distributor pull projects

Comedian Louis C.K. in 2015.

Photographer: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Comedian Louis C.K. confessed to exposing himself to five women and apologized to them and the people he works with.

“These stories are true,” the 50-year-old comedian, whose real name is Louis Szekely, said on Twitter Friday. “I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious about other men who would never have put them in that position.”

Media companies large and small have cut ties with the entertainer following allegations raised in the New York Times. 21st Century Fox Inc.’s FX Networks ended its relationship with Szekely, who was producing four shows with the network, and Netflix Inc. on Friday canceled a stand-up special. A film distributor also halted plans to release his new movie. The Times on Thursday reported on several women who said the entertainer masturbated in front of them.

“Now is not the time for him to make television shows,” FX said in a statement. “Now is the time for him to honestly address the women who have come forth to speak about their painful experiences, a process which he began today with his public statement.”

FX’s “Louie” has earned numerous awards since it debuted in 2010, including an Emmy Award for outstanding writing in 2012. The show catapulted Szekely, a well-regarded stand-up comedian, to the highest levels of the entertainment industry.

Szkeley had taken a hiatus from the show, and FX said he would no longer be involved in the four other shows they were making together, “Better Things,” Baskets,” “One Mississippi” and “The Cops.”

Film Canceled

The Netflix cancellation ends a two-special deal signed in February. The first show, titled “Louis C.K. 2017” was filmed in Washington and became available in April. That show and four others by the entertainer were still available on the streaming service as of Friday. Separately, the Orchard said it won’t release Szekely’s new film, “I Love You, Daddy,” according to the Times.

Time Warner Inc.’s HBO on Thursday dropped Szekely specials from its on-demand service and said he won’t appear as planned on an upcoming Nov. 18 program for charity. The comic will no longer participate in “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs,” HBO said in a statement. His specials for the network include 2005’s “One Night Stand” and 2007’s “Shameless.”

In the Twitter posting, Szekely also expressed regret over the impact of his actions on the cast and crew of shows he worked on, as well as his family and friends. 

“I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with,” he said. Szekely concluded by saying he will “now step back and take long time to listen.”

Szekely has used sex and gender in his humor for years, once referring to men as the No. 1 threat to women. He earned praise as a feminist of sorts for his support of women writers Tig Notaro and Pamela Adlon. Notaro has since distanced herself from Szekely, while FX is airing the second season of Adlon’s show “Better Things,” co-created by the comedian.

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