Do We Really Need a Documentary About Louis C.K.’s Comeback?

Showtime CEO David Nevins called C.K. "a great, great comedian who has come back in his own way"

FX and Vanity Fair Emmy Celebration. A new documentary on the disgraced comedian is in the works.
Why can't this man just quietly fade away?
Rich Fury/Getty Images

It’s been five years since Louis C.K. admitted to sexual misconduct that included masturbating in front of several women without their consent, and for all the talk about “cancel culture,” it’s clear that the comedian’s career hasn’t taken a permanent hit. He even won a Grammy recently for his self-released special, Sincerely, Louis C.K. And now his big comeback will be the subject of a new Showtime documentary.

There’s no word yet on when the documentary is set to premiere, but Showtime CEO David Nevins announced the project on Thursday during the Edinburgh TV Festival in Scotland.

“Louis C.K. is a slightly different situation [compared to Harvey Weinstein],” Nevins said during the festival, according to Variety. “[He is] a great, great comedian who has come back in his own way.”

That sounds weirdly sympathetic to someone who admitted to sex crimes. Will this doc celebrate the disgraced comedian’s comeback? Who exactly is the target audience here?

Only time will tell, of course. According to Variety, the documentary, which is still currently in production, will include the New York Times reporters who initially broke the story about C.K’s sexual misdeeds. It will be directed by Caroline Sun and produced by Amanda Branson-Gill and the New York Times, and per the publication, it will “focus on reflecting on the five years since the allegations came to light at the start of the #MeToo movement.”

“I don’t think the social change that #MeToo has brought about is resolved at all,” Nevins said. “There’s a bit of backlash against #MeToo, who has to go away and who’s allowed to come back.”

How that “backlash” is addressed in the doc remains to be seen, but it seems likely that by simply existing, the film will contribute to said backlash. Louis C.K. refuses to fade away; his material is already out there for fans who wish to seek it out. (The rest of us, meanwhile, can and should continue ignoring him.) Rehashing his comeback in a documentary feels wholly unnecessary.

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