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Here are 25 men in comedy speaking out against Louis C.K.

This moment requires that women not be alone in denouncing Louis C.K.’s too-quick, unrepentant return to comedy.

Here are 25 men in comedy speaking out against Louis C.K.
[Photos: Dave Anthony, Flickr user CleftClips; Greg Proops, Flickr user Gage Skidmore; Dan Telfer, Flickr user Fuzzy Gerdes]

The shortest distance between two points is the time it took for Louis C.K.’s abrupt first steps toward a comeback to find male defenders in the comedy world.

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Indeed, a lot of Twitterers may have found out about the comedian’s surprise set–his first since admitting to long-rumored (and long-denied) charges of sexual harassment–thanks to a widely circulated tweet from Michael Ian Black explaining that Louis C.K. should be able to serve his time and “move on.”

Fans of Black’s work in The StateStella, and movies like Wet Hot American Summer may be used to being let down by him. That’s what happens when your comedic journey takes you to co-authoring a book with Meghan McCain. However, even with his “will take heat for this” disclaimer, Black likely did not sense the degree to which he’d be letting people down with his tweet. Unlike Michael Che, the perpetual contrarian who also quickly defended Louis C.K. on Tuesday, Black presents as a male ally, and seemed an unlikely candidate for “sexual harassment apologist.” Regardless of how nuanced he may have thought his defense of Louis C.K. was, the fact that his first thought was to celebrate the comic’s return to the stage says more about him than any of his subsequent apologies ever could.

But prominent men in the comedy world don’t have to come to Louis C.K.’s defense the way Black did in order to chip away at the #MeToo movement. All they have to do is remain silent, which plenty of them did.

Because women in comedy are (reasonably) more expected to denounce Louis C.K.–out of a perceived high sensitivity to sexual harassment, or out of gender solidarity–it’s easier for C.K.’s sympathizers to write them off. That’s exactly why it’s so important that male comedians speak up right now, especially the ones whose fan bases overlap with Louis C.K.’s. If the male comedy fan who is completely untroubled by what C.K. admitted to doing–literally multiple sexual crimes–sees that a male comedian he loves has a problem with it, there’s at least a chance he’ll think about the situation more critically. It may be an uncomfortable subject to broach, and it may cost some fans, but allyship that’s most difficult is often the kind that’s most important.

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On Tuesday, Fast Company published a list of 51 comedians who haven’t forced women to watch them masturbate. Keen readers may have noticed the list was completely devoid of straight white men. Below, however, is another list. Have a look at 25 men in the comedy world who have spoken out on Twitter (sometimes with jokes, sometimes not) against Louis C.K. While doing so is not exactly heroic–women had the shitty task of having to denounce Louis C.K. before he admitted what he did–it’s still something to appreciate.

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Some of these men stepped out of the way and put the focus on supporting women who were speaking out, but letting their fans know where they stand at the same time.

Some of the men in comedy speaking out aren’t standup comedians, but rather comedy writers. Although they don’t necessarily run the risk of encountering Louis C.K. as he does a drop-in at a show they’re booked on, their support is equally necessary.

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Finally, some popular comedy Twitter accounts run by men weighed in as well.

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Obviously–or at least, hopefully–this list is incomplete. Please tweet at Fast Company with other men in comedy speaking out against Louis C.K., and we’ll add them to a separate section of the list, below.

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