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Louis C.K. is truly a man of his time: Mochama

Vilifying these great men without understanding the era they live in is surely a mistake, writes Vicky Mochama.

Louis C.K. is a man of his time, writes Vicky Mochama.

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Louis C.K. is a man of his time, writes Vicky Mochama.

Men have repeatedly told me that Louis C.K. is one of the funniest comedians of our age, and everyone knows Man Facts are more true than Lady Facts.

Indeed when the New York Times reported the long-whispered rumours that Louis C.K. had, for many years, masturbated in front of women without their consent, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, it fits the times.

You have to understand: he’s a man of his time.

It’s easy to look at his actions and judge him by our current standards.

In 2002, when Louis C.K. invited two female comedians to hang out and instead brought his penis to the party, it was a different time and clearly, we’re different people now. Eminem had a new album out, Queen Elizabeth II sat on the throne and the American president seemed unfit for office.

I barely recognize us.

Activist historians are going to point to that time in September 2017 when the comedian told the Times, “I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors” and judge him by the unfair standards of his November 2017 statement saying, “Those stories are true.” He was, after all, simply a man of the time between September and November.

There’s a growing trend of discarding the great men of our time because they regularly and casually assaulted, harassed and mistreated the women of our time. What kind of society can we be if we no longer celebrate Andrew Kreisberg, the show runner of television shows, The Flash and Supergirl? How can we erase such a vital part of our history?

With an eraser? I don’t know if that’s even possible, or if there are big enough erasers, or if maybe we should think about trying wallpaper instead.

To me, there is no doubt that Louis C.K. and Kreisberg committed acts of sexual harassment and misconduct with women over whom they had power. (Allegedly. Surely the lawyers would say I have to take back the “there is no doubt” part.)

But, like other men of their time, they were far from alone in their belief that they could do whatever they wanted to women with impunity. (Daddy’s Home 2 starring Mel Gibson made $30 million this weekend and Woody Allen’s new film comes out Dec. 1!)

Vilifying these great men without understanding the era they live in is surely a mistake.

To understand that era, consider that in 2016, a man was heard saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it” about groping women and the American public thought, “That is the man to lead us and inspire us.”

It must be the times. Or maybe it’s the men.

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