The international wheels are slowly coming off Louis C.K.’s film I Love You, Daddy in the wake of the sexual harassment controversy surrounding the comedian.
Following reports that NonStop Entertainment in Scandinavia and Shoval Film in Israel are no longer releasing the film, which has already been ditched by The Orchard in the U.S., leading pan-Arab distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has said it is also scrapping the title.
“For as much as we acknowledge Louis C.K.’s creative and performing talent, releasing the film in the Middle East and North Africa would mean condoning this type of behavior and forgetting the damage it has caused and still causes to the victims, regardless of gender,” the company said in a statement. “Therefore, we, at Front Row, have decided not to release the film. This is the type of message we would like to send to the whole system, which needs to re-examine its core ethical and professional values.”
French distributor ARP Selection is also dropping the title, co-founder and head of acquisitions Michele Halberstadt told THR. Contractually, ARP cannot open the movie in France before the U.S. launch, and since the film has been dropped by the U.S. distributor, releasing it in France has become impossible. The film was scheduled for a French release on Dec. 27.
The context of the film has also changed following the sexual harassment stories and subsequent admission of C.K., Halberstadt said. “Contract or no contract, just look at the trailer — you can’t watch it now,” she said, emphasizing that the company is not making a moral judgment. “But [now] it is telling a different story. There is a subtext there, and that subtext is killing the movie.”
Concluded Halberstadt: “Louis C.K.’s life is so much a part of his movies and it’s very personal, so you cannot separate the work from the artist. It’s impossible, and considering the subject matter the movie tackles, it has become clear that you cannot screen the movie for what it is. That’s our position.”
She said the French distributor may reconsider if the film is released in the U.S. at a later date.
The decision comes less than a week after the publication of a New York Times exposé in which five women claimed C.K. sexually harassed them.