It’s no secret that Louis CK helped Tig Notaro break through into the mainstream by putting out her “Live” CD on his website, then by helping her sell her TV series One Mississippi to Amazon.
But when Notaro learned about CK’s secret, about how he had abused other women in comedy, she wasn’t going to remain allied with him personally or professionally.
She and her writers made CK’s m.o. — forcing women to watch him masturbate in front of them — a central plot point in this year’s second season of One Mississippi. When Notaro began promoting the new season this summer, she pressed CK to step up and publicly address the longstanding whispers about him. That’s what finally got The New York Times to ask CK about it this summer at the Toronto Film Festival, where despite making a film (I Love You, Daddy) that contained multiple scenes echoing not only his own behavior but that of Woody Allen, CK denied everything and dismissed it all as a rumor.
Of course, the truth has come out, and CK was out as an EP on all of his shows with FX (Baskets, Better Things) and Amazon (One Mississippi), his movie shelved (although the distributor is selling the rights back to him), and himself dropped by his agent and manager.
“It’s a huge relief…to have him removed,” Notaro told The View on Monday.
“I found this out right after we sold the show, that this was happening. I started publicly trying to distance myself from him for almost two years now. And then, when this all came out, even though I knew firsthand from people, it wasn’t my place to call out names. It’s somebody else’s story,” Notaro said. “It’s for them to directly speak about.”
They’d written the scene in which Notaro’s real-life wife, Stephanie Allynnne, is forced to watch her boss masturbate, back in January, before American society began taking sexual assault and harassment more seriously.
“Our entire writers’ room is all female, and every person in the room has had an experience with assault, abuse or harassment in some way. And so, we, every story on One Mississippi is based in truth, and it’s not necessarily my truth, but it’s somebody’s truth, and something that somebody experienced or knew of the experience happening, and we wanted to recreate that because people seem to feel like this was hard to believe, that this sort of behavior would happen. Because it’s like, what is somebody’s motivation there? It’s not somebody interested in somebody. It’s not somebody flirting. It’s something beyond that. It’s power. It’s abuse. It’s disgusting.”
“We wanted to send the message to everybody, truly.”
Roll the clip.