It happened. Louis CK, the wise, broken, painfully hilarious man of comedy has been accused of sexual harassment, after many, many rumors.
For the past couple of weeks, during my morning toilet scrolls – aka the millennial news hour – there’s a little prayer I say: ‘Not one of my idols. Let all the creeps be exposed, but not one of my idols.’
But today, yet again, as a reaffirmation of my atheism, I realized I was just uttering those words for them to ultimately end up in the toilet bowl.
But that makes me want to question my morals, and rightfully so.
Was I praying that my idols stay idols by not being complete pieces of shit or was I praying that they do it by hiding behind their celebrity and power and money so that I feel better about my choice of idols?
When Trump was accused of sexual harassment I wanted his empire to crumble to the ground.
I hate Trump for obvious reasons. I think, at this point, he’s made sure no one needs to elaborate on why they hate him.
When Malayalam actor Dileep was arrested for the assault of one of the prominent actresses of Kerala, I couldn’t be happier.
Because I’m not so fond of Dileep either. He is the epitome of Malayali sexism and patriarchy. The “great man”, the “guy next door”, who married Manju Warrier, an A-lister who was much, much bigger a star than him at the time. Someone who was at the peak of her career, and we didn’t hear from her for 13 years, except in his interviews when he was asked how his wife was doing.
In those 13 years, he rose to her level of stardom, became one of the most bankable stars in the industry, amidst rumors of an affair with another A-list actress.
And when his wife filed for a divorce and went from ‘Dileep’s wife’ to Manju Warrier again, he made sure to feed the already-judgemental Malayali society more on what an irresponsible, horrible, fame-hungry mother she is, through the interview in a prominent Malayalam women’s magazine.
Oh and just a few months later, he married the A-list actress he was accused of having an affair with. So convenient.
So, yes, I wanted him to stop. His sexist, racist, homophobic movies to stop. It wasn’t fair his garbage broke box office records, especially in this new golden age of Malayalam movies, where a number of new and talented filmmakers struggle to get their movies made and released. It wasn’t fair he could get away with being such an influential flag bearer of patriarchy.
And then it happened. A famous Malayali actress got assaulted in a moving car in Kochi. Investigations led to an A-list actor being suspected of orchestrating the assault. Fast forward to a few weeks, Dileep gets arrested.
It was alleged that he had a long-standing grudge against the actress, who he had worked with in many movies. According to the allegations by the actress, they had a fallout and he tried to destroy her career using his influence over other film producers and directors. When she still managed to survive in the industry, he responded with the assault. Allegedly, of course!
So, it’s easy when people you don’t particularly like or absolutely loathe are outed as creeps and assholes. You can so easily jump on the hate wagon, sometimes even without bothering about the legitimacy of the accusations.
But when people you look up to, people who, up until a few minutes ago, entertained you and inspired you to be creative, turn out to be perverts, you start questioning your entire life choices.
The kind of perverted behavior you let slide because it’s from someone you admire or someone you love or from a friend or a family member.
The sexist and perverted jokes from a male coworker about your female colleagues you laughed off because “there’s no way he’s actually a perv.”
Then there’s the biggest conundrum of all. Can you still enjoy the countless amazing movies produced by Harvey Weinstein knowing the abuse of power that was going on while those movies were being made? Can you still watch Kevin Spacey’s American Beauty without being creeped out about how close to reality it actually was?
Can you still enjoy Louis CK joking about his sexual perversion knowing he might have acted on some of them?
Well, the jury is still out on that one!