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Industry cuts ties to Louis C.K. as comic admits to misconduct

Greg Braxton, Yvonne Villarreal and Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES--Louis C.K.'s candid admission on Friday that he engaged in sexual misconduct with multiple women has seemingly brought the curtain down on his acclaimed career and his extensive associations with several top networks.

FX on Friday dealt the most crushing blow, following HBO and Netflix, which ended their deals with the comic after five women accused him in a New York Times report on Thursday of sexual harassment. C.K. released a lengthy statement Friday saying, "These stories are true."

Executives for FX, where C.K. hit his most noteworthy creative stride in recent years with shows such as "Louie," his fictionalized series about a single father who was also a comedian, "Better Things" and "Baskets," said they were terminating his overall deal.

"Today, FX Networks and FX Productions are ending our association with Louis C.K.," said the network in a statement. "We are canceling the overall deal between FX Productions and his production company, Pig Newton. He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him -- 'Better Things,' 'Baskets', 'One Mississippi' and 'The Cops.'"

Pamela Adlon, who stars in "Better Things," which she co-created with C.K., said she was devastated by the developments.

"Hi. I'm here. I have to say something. It's so important," Adlon said in a statement. "My family and I are devastated and in shock after the admission of abhorrent behavior by my friend and partner, Louis C.K. I feel deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward. I am asking for privacy at this time for myself and my family. I am processing and grieving and hope to say more as soon as I am able."

FX had initially been more cautious following the report, saying the situation was "under review." But its stance changed with C.K.'s confession. "Louis has now confirmed the truth of the reports relating to the five women victimized by his misconduct, which we were unaware of previously," the statement continued. "As far as we know, his behavior over the past eight years on all five series he has produced for FX Networks and/or FX Productions has been professional.

"However, now is not the time for him to make television shows. 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 Networks and FX Productions remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that all people work in an environment that is safe, respectful and fair, and we will continue our review of all of these productions to ensure that was and is the case."

The reports of sexual misconduct placed FX in a particularly awkward position. "Louie," "Better Things" and "Baskets" have become signature shows for the network, propelling its rise to one of cable's elite venues. His FX shows established him as a uniquely frank and creative force, defining his brand of often uncomfortable comedy while also influencing a wave of other artists who developed projects based on their personal, and sometimes embarrassing, experiences.

(He had two other FX-produced shows on different platforms: "One Mississippi," starring Tig Notaro, streams on Amazon; the animated "The Cops," starring and co-created by C.K. and Albert Brooks, was scheduled to air next year on TBS.)

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