In a recent appearance on The View, comedian Tig Notaro spoke candidly about her professional relationship to Louis C.K. and the allegations of sexual assault against him. “It’s a relief,” Notaro told the co-hosts, to learn of Louis C.K.’s ejection from comedy.
An early supporter of Notaro’s comedy, Louis C.K. helped Notaro sell her autobiographical comedy series One Mississippi—about Notaro’s return home after the death of her mother while recovering from cancer herself—to Amazon, and produced the show. The initial New York Times report on the allegations against Louis C.K. included comments from Notaro, saying, “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real, but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.” Notaro was unaware of the allegations until after One Mississippi was sold to Amazon, and once fellow comedians opened up to her about their experience of being harassed by Louis C.K., she publicly attempted to distance herself from the now-disgraced comedian for about two years. “Even though I knew first-hand from people, it wasn’t my place to call out names,” she said on The View.
The second season of One Mississippi was written in January 2017, months before the rush of sexual assault allegations in the news today. Notaro’s take on the current political climate is demonstrated in season two as “an obvious shift, where we take things to a completely different level,” says the comedian. The series tackles homophobia, racism and sexual assault.
When asked if C.K. ever harassed her personally, she replied, “Nothing like that, but, yeah, like I said, I started distancing myself.” In a season two episode of One Mississippi, an employer forces his female employee to watch him masturbate, which could be read as a fictionalized account of some female comics’ experiences with Louis C.K., who has admitted that the allegations of him forcing women to watch him masturbate are true. “The thing is, our entire writers room is all female,” said Notaro. While Notaro may not have found herself in the exact same situation, the plot was included as part of an effort to recreate the experience that may have been had or witnessed by at least one person on the show’s team or told to the staff by another comedian. Of the seven person writing staff she said, “Every person in the room has had an experience with assault, abuse or harassment in some way.”