In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Tig Notaro revealed that she and Louis C.K. are no longer on good terms. She told the Beast that there was an incident before her Amazon series One Mississippi started, and although she did not go into any details about the incident, she did say that the two haven’t talked at all since then. The falling out is significant because C.K. was seen as a catalyst in helping Notaro’s career leap forward when he saw her now infamous set at the Largo Theater, praised it as one of only a “handful of truly great masterful stand up sets” he had ever seen, and helped her distribute the recording of that show on his website.
She also told the Beast that one of the themes that Season Two of One Mississippi will tackle, is sexual assault- specifically featuring a female character that is forced to watch a man in a position of power masturbate in front of her in the workplace. According to the Beast, comedian Stephanie Allynne will face sexual misconduct in Season Two. Allynne is Notaro’s love interest on the show (and her wife in real life). Like many women, Allynne told the Beast that she has put up with behavior from men in her life, and would dismiss it as something that sometimes happens. “I didn’t even think I was being assaulted,” Allynne told TDB. “I would just go, ugh, this guy, what a weirdo and move on. When you start to see those people rise in power and go to such extremes, you go, well if I allow this, what am I saying OK to?”
Is all of this a dig at Louis C.K.? Anyone following comedy gossip is aware that rumors have swirled in the past that C.K. exposed and masturbated himself in front of female comics who weren’t thrilled to be a part of the event. The rumors started in 2015 when Jen Kirkman talked about “a comedian” who was a perv. She was afraid to out the comedian because of reprisals that could damage her career, but said that it was fairly obvious who it was. A Gawker article, “Which Beloved Comedian Likes to Force Female Comics to Watch Him Jerk Off?” hinted at C.K. being the comic in question and Roseanne Barr told The Daily Beast last summer, “It’s Louis C.K., locking the door and masturbating in front of women comics and writers. I can’t tell you—I’ve heard so many stories.” In 2016, the New Yorker asked him about the allegations. He did not take the opportunity to deny the rumors head on, instead saying “you can’t touch stuff like that’ referring to rumors and allegations.
Notaro addressed the allegations against C.K. in the interview, and upon learning that he hasn’t ever addressed the allegations publicly, she said, “I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that,” she said, “because it’s serious to be assaulted. It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious.” She added that it’s despicable when people in power subject others to sexual misconduct, and noted that it’s hard for people to believe that “their idol or their friend” could possibly be behaving so badly. She’s glad to have the opportunity with One Mississippi to address things. “I walk around doing shows at comedy clubs and you just hear from people left and right of what some big-shot comedian or person has done. People just excuse it.”
C.K. may have to address these allegations soon. He is listed as the show’s executive producer and that’s sure to create a stir when the episodes air. Notaro, however says despite his EP credit, he has “nothing to do with the show.” Many new shows look to have a celebrity name attached to their show- if for no other reason than to generate additional press, but not Notaro. In the interview, she expressed frustration with having C.K.’s name on the series. “I don’t waste my time on him or what anyone thinks. His name is on it. But we are writing the show, the writers’ room. We’re sitting in editing. We’re acting. We’re on set. We’re doing press.”
This isn’t the first hint of a Notaro/C.K. rift. Earlier this year we got a glimpse of issues between the two comedians when Notaro addressed an SNL sketch that seemed to rip off a short film she had done. She wrote in a statement, “It has been impossible for me to ignore the cacophony of voices reaching out personally and publicly about the potential plagiarizing of my film Clown Service (a film that I screened at Largo in Los Angeles for over a year and it premiered at Vulture’s Comedy Festival in NYC as well as numerous film festivals around the country and I am currently screening on my national tour). While I don’t know how all this actually happened, I did find it extremely disappointing.”