Louis C.K. Faces Backlash Over Leaked Audio Mocking Parkland Shooting Survivors
Leaked audio of a comedian who is reportedly C.K. contains jokes about the survivors of the Florida high school massacre as well as people who identify as gender neutral.
A week after a 2011 video resurfaced of Louis C.K. repeatedly using the N-word, the comedian has found himself at the center of controversy once again over what's believed to be more recent material.
Audio widely believed to be of C.K.'s stand-up set has surfaced online in which the comedian attacks the survivors of the Parkland high school massacre as well as people who identify as gender neutral.
TMZ and Forbes reported Sunday night that the voice is that of C.K.'s in the audio, though that hasn't been officially confirmed. By Monday morning numerous other outlets all picked up the set, which some outlets claimed took place at the Governor's Comedy Club in Long Island. After an initial YouTube video featuring the audio was taken down, the roughly 50-minute set resurfaced here.
While the owner of the Governor's Comedy Club couldn't confirm the specific subjects covered in C.K.'s set, he did confirm that C.K. performed a previously announced show at the club on Dec. 16, as stated in the caption of the YouTube video.
The owner, James Dolce, added that C.K. performed six consecutive sold-out shows and received enthusiastic responses and standing ovations.
"He brought the house down," Dolce said in part, adding "Everyone loves him. He's welcome at all of my clubs anytime. He's a comedy genius."
He went on to say that he has an open-door policy with C.K. and is happy to book him whenever the comedian wants to do a set.
When asked whether he has a problem with the content of any of C.K.'s material or the sexual-misconduct allegations against him, Dolce said, "It's comedy and it's got to be looked at as a part of comedy. I don't judge any comedy or anyone's opinion or anything."
In a two-minute clip that made its way onto Twitter, a comedian can be heard riffing on "the younger generation," saying he's "disappointed" in today's youth.
"Because, I'm 51 years old, and when I was like 18, to in my 20s, I mean, we were idiots," the comedian says. "We were getting high, doing fucking mushrooms and shit. And then older people were like, 'You gotta get your shit together,' and we're like, 'Eh, fuck you!' And I was kind of excited to be in my 50s, and see people in their 20s, and be like, 'You're crazy! These kids are nuts!' But they're not. They're fuckin' — 'nyeah.' They're just boring. Fuckin' tellin', 'You shouldn't say that.' What the — what are you? An old lady? What the fuck are you doing? 'Nyeah, that's not appropriate.' Fuck you. You're a child. Why aren't you finger-fucking each other and doing Jell-O shots? Like why aren't you— ?"
He goes on to mock those people who identify as gender-neutral and prefer the pronouns they/them/their over he/him/his or she/her/her.
"They're like royalty," he says. "They tell you what to call them. 'You should address me as they/them, because I identify as gender-neutral.' Oh, OK. You should address me as 'there' because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother's c—. It doesn't have to be that nasty, but it can be."
He then appears to mock the survivors of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staffers dead and injured 17 others.
"I don't know, they testify in front of Congress, these kids? What the fuck? What are you doing?" he said. "You're young. You should be crazy. You should be unhinged — not in a suit, saying, 'I'm here to tell — ' Fuck you. You're not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? How does that make you interesting? You didn't get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way. Now I gotta listen to you talkin'?"
The comments generated a wave of backlash on Twitter on Sunday night and Monday morning with Judd Apatow among those criticizing the comedian.
A week earlier, video of a 2011 HBO special featuring C.K., Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais and Jerry Seinfeld surfaced in which all of the comedians except Seinfeld utter the N-word and joke about their use of it.
C.K.'s career has been at a standstill since he was accused of — and admitted to — sexual misconduct with five women that included incidents of him undressing and masturbating in front of them, after which several media companies cut ties with the comedian.
The former Louie star gradually began returning to comedy stages with surprise shows over summer, which sparked criticism. He performed his first official sets at New York's Comedy Cellar and was greeted by two female protestors, but at a set in Paris last month, the audience greeted him warmly and brought him back onstage for an encore.
Reps for C.K. have not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's requests for comment and attempts to verify that C.K. is indeed the voice on the recording.
Check out some of the backlash, both from public figures and Parkland shooting survivors, to the routine believed to be from C.K.
This hacky, unfunny, shallow routine is just a symptom of how people are afraid to feel empathy. It’s much easier to laugh at our most vulnerable than to look at their pain directly & show them love and concern. Louis CK is all fear and bitterness now. He can’t look inward. https://t.co/aQVG0rk87y— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
You have to look at it in the context of a man with children who mocks kids who are worrying about getting shot.A man who mocks our most vulnerable people. That’s because he feels like no one cares about HIS pain. What HE’S been through. He feels like he was wronged so attacks. https://t.co/2zfHoBeyjW— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
I am not a sensitive comedy watcher. I just think it is weak material. Compare it to the work of our greats. Would Richard Pryor have done a routine about how shooting victims were boring? People will want to make it political but it is more about his fear of self discovery. https://t.co/BBwgqg4qWp— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
If your family members were killed you might not think he was so heroic for mocking kids for wanting to save other kids and people from gun violence. He is entitled to his opinions and jokes and people are entitled to say if they appreciate the work or not. It’s America. https://t.co/4QNalRAxEf— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
Here is why it is ultimately such a lame routine. The Parkland kids and other kids who have spoken out against gun violence ARE interesting. No one thinks they are boring.They are riveting. I think fighters for justice offend him for some reason at this point in his life. https://t.co/eeWAM3PGVR— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
I think it would have been a story two years ago because when he talks about the fat kid who got pushed in the way he seems to be implying the kids who fight gun violence survived because they sacrificed other kids.That is horrific at any time. He has kids. Where is his heart? https://t.co/MayDQM4hFv— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
It’s a shame when you sink so low that your comeback plan is to make fun of school shooting survivors for speaking out.— Ryan Deitsch (@Ryan_Deitsch) December 31, 2018
The only thing funny about this man is that he thought saying any of that was a good idea.— Sofie Whitney (@sofiewhitney) December 31, 2018
He must be really intimidated by us kids. https://t.co/FHwtJkNtE9
The people laughing in this are just as much at fault. https://t.co/lcsiE4vbys— Alex Wind (@al3xw1nd) December 31, 2018
LEAVE LOUIS CK IN 2018. WE’RE NOT TAKING THIS ENERGY INTO 2019. thank u.— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) December 31, 2018
To anyone who knows Louis CK, please deliver this message for me. My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday. Why don't you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes? https://t.co/tZI9ThSciR— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 31, 2018
How is Louis CK different than Milo or the other right wing twerps? https://t.co/Qs2IH5Yp28— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) December 31, 2018
I guess Louis CK decided to go different way and make fun of high school kids who witnessed their classmates getting massacred.https://t.co/iyCWot2A1x— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) December 31, 2018
“I’m gonna show that I’m not afraid to mock this upsetting thing that most ppl don’t find funny” is not brave. It’s not hilarious because it offends some people. It’s a FORMULA, and an increasingly lazy one.— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) December 31, 2018
Louis C.K, although taking jello shots & eating mushrooms might have been ideal for you when you were 18, that is not the luxury that we have after having to see our friends and classmates in caskets because of preventable gun violence. https://t.co/Hx5cGoxOPn— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) December 31, 2018
Louis C.K. “joke” about heroic Parkland kids was as tasteless as could be but not a huge surprise. He’s made a career of that.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) December 31, 2018
But shouldn’t audiences decide to show up or not?
De facto censorship isn’t the answer.
Let the market decide!https://t.co/t37JoCcoBn
what a horrible, hateful, small man https://t.co/NYLaVeJ2TA— Megan Amram (@meganamram) December 31, 2018