Janeane Garofalo thinks that people need to leave Louis C.K. alone. The comedian went on Bust’s Poptarts podcast back in December to talk about feminism and her comedy career. The episode was released on Friday.
The whole podcast seemed fairly confrontational. Hosts Emily Rems and Callie Watts did not seem to purposefully provoke Garofalo, as the hosts and Garofalo remained respectful about their different takes on the sexualization of women and women’s empowerment. When the conversation shifted to the #MeToo movement, the podcast got notably heated.
“When it comes to the #MeToo movement, I think it’s okay to question the source. It should transcend gender. It’s human rights,” said the Wet Hot American Summer star. She went on, “Cause if you don’t, anyone can be accused of anything at any time and if you’re not allowed to question that — I can say right now ‘I’ve got pictures of you molesting a child. Don’t question me!’ You know what I mean? Don’t question the questioner! Then it’s a Twilight Zone episode.
“And I think in any movement, for human rights, you’ve got to transcend gender, and you’ve got to consider who’s making the accusation and why and when because it matters.”
The topic then shifted to her longtime friend, C.K. The comedian publicly admitted to workplace sexual harassment back in 2017, but Garofalo believes he has suffered enough. “Leave Louis C.K. alone. Enough with that. And again, there are so many issues we gotta be motivated on. He’s been my friend — and I stand by that — he’s been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered,” she explained. “When he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters…If nothing else — if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should — think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel.”
The hosts took issue with the sentiment and a tense discussion followed leading to Garofalo saying, “I don’t want to get caught up in this, because clearly you take a strong position on this, and it doesn’t win me any friends.” Comedians have been mixed about commenting on the Louie star’s return, though some like Judd Apatow and Ted Alexandro have been notable critics. Garofalo continued, “This is like talking about Israel. But I do believe when you’re a friend with someone, and if you think that they have suffered — I don’t believe in kicking a person when they’re down.”
The podcast comes on the heels of another close friend of the comedian’s, Pamela Adlon opening up to Vanity Fair about her public break with C.K. as a longtime collaborator. He served as an executive producer when the show first premiered in 2016. In the interview about her show Better Things, she is quoted saying, “All of a sudden, he’s gone. My show is dangling from a precipice. It was so huge. And it was so devastating.” She is also quoted on feeling for his victims saying she has “deep sorrow and empathy for the women who have come forward.”
Listen to the full episode of Poptarts with Garofalo here.