attends the 4th Annual Town & Country Philanthropy Summit at Hearst Tower on May 9, 2017 in New York City. (Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country)

Michael Ian Black Responds to His Online Dragging Over Louis C.K. by Actually Learning

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Michael Ian Black had a no good very bad take on Louis C.K. returning to comedy with his “comeback” attempt at NYC’s Comedy Cellar on Sunday night, where he got a 15-minute standing ovation. Black sent out a tweet saying that he knew he would take “heat” for his statement, but that C.K. should be allowed to move on with his life and that he was “happy to see him try.”

Unsurprisingly, many people came out to basically tell Black that not only was he wrong, but the narrative around “time served” came up. It has been less than a year since C.K. admitted to various incidents of sexual misconduct. It’s difficult to see how C.K. and others have “served time” when all most of them did is retreat into their money.

Part of the issue surrounding Black and many others who defend men like C.K. is that they want to put redemption for these men—and hand-wringing over their “lost” careers—before prioritizing the feelings of the victims. As seen in this Tweet by Black.

Do I believe in redemption? Of course. As someone who believes in criminal justice reform, and hell, as someone who makes mistakes, I totally understand the drive to not hold mistakes against people once they have grown beyond it. Especially since it overwhelming effects poor people and people of color. However, that is not what is happening here.

There is a defensiveness around #MeToo and it is as old as time, the idea that women are liars and will ruin your life with rape allegations. Nevermind that women, and people in general, rarely lie about rape, and that the major cases of false rape accusations happened not because of the accusations themselves, but a “tough on crime” mentality from police and prosecutors.

Black realizing that what he said was a problem and taking steps to fix it by donating to organizations, promoting women in comedy and listening is the kind of work we want these men to do in order to “redeem” themselves.

Are we harsh on these men? Yes, but they aren’t going to jail. They are not even universally shamed. That harshness is the least of the problems and has not left a dent in most of their careers. We can have nuanced conversations about redemption and what lines go where, but that has to come from people not using every grey-area example to call out victims. We have to do better for those who have been harmed before trying to put more money into the pockets of the accused.

(via Twitter, image: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Town & Country)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.