May 21, 2019

Why Is Louie C.K. Touting His Black Supporters?

“Louis C.K. says he’s been persecuted. During a Monday-night set at the New York performance mainstay the Comedy Cellar, the comedian addressed his November 2017 admission of sexual misconduct—namely, masturbating in front of several young female comedians—only to the extent that it has affected his own career. “Hard things, you survive them or you don’t,” C.K. said at the Cellar, according to a report in The New York Times. “I think even hell you can survive. Hell is not that bad. I’ve been there.”

But even amid the fire and brimstone of his own creation, C.K. noted that he’d found relief in the wave of support he’d received from a specific population. “They tell you that when you get in trouble, you find out who your real friends are,” he said during his set. “It’s black people, it turns out. They’ll stick by you.”

The comedian’s invocation of unnamed black supporters echoed comments made earlier this month by the actor Alec Baldwin. Baldwin, who has recently attracted the ire of conservatives for his portrayals of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, told The Hollywood Reporter that his performances have earned him ardent approval within the same community C.K. hailed as his saving grace. “Ever since I played Trump, black people love me. They love me,” Baldwin said. “Everywhere I go, black people go crazy. I think it’s because they’re most afraid of Trump. I’m not going to paint every African American person with the same brush, but a significant number of them are sitting there going, ‘This is going to be bad for black folks.’””

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