It’s comeback season for disgraced showbiz stars.
On Sunday night, comedian Louis CK returned to his roots at a stand-up club in New York City for his first live set since he admitted he sexually harassed several women, released a half-hearted “apology” and ducked out of the limelight. (He got a standing ovation.)
And he’s not the only entertainment dude targeted by the #MeToo movement who is stealthily returning to the spotlight. In the past couple of weeks, Kevin Spacey’s movie hit theatres (the reception was extremely chilly), Matt Lauer reportedly assured some fans, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back on TV,” and #MeToo-implicated stars Mario Batali, Jeremy Piven and Charlie Rose are reportedly plotting their next moves.
How are we going to handle this? FLARE’s Stacy Lee Kong has covered #MeToo as both a reporter and editor since the movement took the entertainment industry by storm last fall. She’s on The Big Story podcast today discussing how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Here’s a sneak peek of the episode.
Should the industries that previously kicked these men to the door simply… welcome them back?
Should some be allowed to return to their careers and not others? What’s the difference between what Louis CK did and say, the acts Kevin Spacey was accused of? Lee Kong isn’t sure.
“I wonder if it has something to do with the worlds that we’re talking about,” she says. “Louis CK is still really well-loved in the comedy world. There are a lot of progressive men on Twitter talking about ‘moving forward’… When those guys are asking about what’s next, [I think] that means, ‘How do we welcome our friends back into the fold?'”
What does a sincere apology look like?
“My ideal is that, if there aren’t legal repercussions for your actions… that’s fine, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. There are other things you should be doing,” Lee Kong says. “You should probably be going to therapy, you should certainly be doing some visible things. Are you donating to charities that help abused women? Are you actually, actively apologizing?”
To hear the full episode, head to thebigstorypodcast.ca or search for it on Apple, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts.
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