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

C.K. was also dropped Friday by his longtime publicist, Lewis Kay, and his management company, 3 Arts Entertainment.

Said 3 Arts in a statement: "We are committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our staff, clients and the community at large. We are doing a full internal review regarding this situation and are taking additional steps to strengthen our processes and procedures while engaging with our staff to address any concerns about harassment or abuse of power. This behavior is totally unacceptable in all circumstances and must be confronted and addressed."

Those actions followed earlier moves by HBO and Netflix. The premium network on Thursday had removed C.K. from the lineup of the network's live Nov. 18 special, "Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs." His past projects for HBO, including his 2006 sitcom, "Lucky Louie," were also scrubbed from its On Demand services.

And Netflix announced it was not moving forward with a second stand-up special featuring C.K., citing his "unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues."

The Orchard, the distribution company for the comic's controversial movie "I Love You, Daddy," dropped the film one week before its Nov. 17 release. The movie, which stars C.K. and Chloe Grace Moretz, is about a divorced dad whose teenage daughter becomes involved with an older man.

Although much of the attention surrounding C.K. in recent months was because of the delicate and controversial nature of "I Love You, Daddy," it's his influential television projects -- and particularly his FX shows -- that established him during the last several years as a unique and personal comic voice who used his own life as a launch pad for his material.

His rise started in the mid-1990s, when he wrote and produced for several shows including HBO's "The Chris Rock Show" and ABC's failed "The Dana Carvey Show," which also featured performer-writers Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

The comedian's first major foray in establishing his brand on series TV came with "Lucky Louie," which also marked his first significant partnership with longtime creative partner Adlon.

But it was "Louie," which premiered on FX in 2010, that proved to be C.K.'s breakthrough. The series quickly became a critical darling and an Emmys favorite, and stands as one of the most influential shows of the last decade, inspiring a new wave of deeply personal, genre-bending, auteurist comedy written, produced and often directed by performers playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The success of "Louie" arguably paved the way for such shows as "Girls," "Atlanta" and "Master of None."

C.K. has also become a mentor to many writers and performers, and a champion of female voices in particular. He encouraged Notaro to release a stand-up set about her cancer treatment as an album, which he made available on his website. He later served as an executive producer on her series, "One Mississippi."

When FX President John Landgraf was looking for a show featuring a female lead, C.K. suggested Adlon, and the pair co-created "Better Things," in which Adlon mined her chaotic life as a single mother of three girls for comedy.

Gender politics also became a focal point of his comedy. In one of the most popular bits from his stand-up act, he wonders why women ever agree to go out on dates with men, given that "globally and historically, we're the No. 1 cause of injury and mayhem to women. We're the worst thing that ever happens to them."

As of Friday, C.K. said he was examining his actions. "I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want," C.K. concluded in his statement. "I will now step back and take a long time to listen."

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