Spotify is not pulling Louis C.K.’s material, despite major pullouts from other streaming platforms and media companies.
Louis C.K.’s catalog is still available on Spotify, even after the comedian admits to a range of sexual abuse allegations. On Friday afternoon (November 10th), the comedian’s catalog remained available on the streaming music platform, while Netflix, HBO, and FX announced high-profile pulldowns and cut ties.
Also jumping ship is The Orchard, the distributor of C.K.’s almost-released film, I Love You, Daddy. The Orchard is a longtime digital music distributor, and a serious industry player since the 90s. Unfortunately, the scandal disrupts a big release for the company.
On Friday morning, Louis C.K. admitted to numerous allegations of sexual impropriety. Specifically, a New York Times article revealed that the comedian masturbated in front of numerous female colleagues, over a period of years. Additionally, C.K. masturbated in other situations, including phone calls.
“These stories are true,” the comedian flatly offered in a statement.
The actions appear technically consensual, and therefore not criminal. That may be guiding Spotify’s decision not to intervene.
There was no physical contact in these situations, and Louis C.K. noted that he always asked permission before showing his genitalia. But C.K. also noted that his position of power made the actions inappropriate.
“At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.
“The power I had over these women is that they admired me,” he continued. “And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The Times piece disrupted a major rollout for Louis. His movie premiere was abruptly canceled, and so was an appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’. Netflix canceled production on a stand-up special, while HBO nixed C.K. from a comedic benefit, “Night of Too Many Stars”.
Netflix offered a quick rebuke of the comedian’s behavior. “The allegations made by several women in The New York Times about Louis C.K.’s behavior are disturbing,” the company stated. “Louis’s unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand-up special, as had been planned.”
But Netflix isn’t removing earlier content from the comedian. Others, including FX, have refrained from removing earlier Louis content.
As for Spotify, all of the content appears intact. And it’s unclear whether the streaming music platform wants to deal with the sticky morality issue.