Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Multiple women make accusations against Louis C.K., a Republican Senate nominee’s past comes back to haunt him, and there’s yet another sexual predator spreadsheet making the rounds online. Have a relaxing weekend—and we’ll see you Monday, when Val and I will be reporting from our Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in California.
• Not funny. A new bombshell story from the New York Times puts faces and names to allegations that have circulated about Louis C.K. for years: Five women went on the record to describe the powerful comedian either masturbating in front of them or asking if he could do so. Comedy is a raunchy, non-traditional business, of course, but, as one of the women, Julia Wolov, puts it: “I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating.”
C.K.’s publicist said the star “is not going to answer” questions about the allegations.
A couple things that jump out at me from this sordid tale:
The allegations are already hurting C.K.’s career, and it will get worse. The premiere of his new film was canceled, as was a planned appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert—and that was before the story even came out.
Where is the line between supporting women’s careers and using them as cover? Tig Notaro is one of the few comedians willing to speak out against him. C.K. gave her career an immense boost when he released her 2012 comedy album about her cancer diagnosis. She tells the Times that her fear is that “he released my album to cover his tracks,” she said. “He knew it was going to make him look like a good guy, supporting a woman.”
There are many different ways that sexual harassment can kill women’s careers. Abby Schachner tells the Times that she called C.K. to invite him to one of her comedy shows—and that she could hear him masturbating during the phone call. Years later, he apologized, she said. Schachner accepted the apology, the Times reports, “and told him she forgave him. But the original interaction left her deeply dispirited, she said, and discouraged her from pursuing comedy.”
New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Next Gen, next week! Our Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit kicks off on Monday, with the livestream firing up at 4:10 Pacific time. We’ll bring you all the details next week, but for a preview, check out the full agenda here:
• No more, Moore. Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat, reportedly initiated a sexual encounter with Leigh Corfman when she was just 14 years old. (He was 32 at the time.) Three other women also told the Washington Post that Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. Moore, now 70, denies the allegations. President Trump and several GOP senators—including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell —said Moore should abandon his campaign “if” the article is true.
• Duking it out. Elaine Duke, the acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security, refused to end humanitarian protections for Honduran immigrants living in the U.S.—despite repeated pressure from (her former boss) White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Wall Street Journal
• Read this now. There has been an outpouring of accounts of sexual assault recently, but if you choose to read only one, let it be this essay by Diana Nyad, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. Now 68, she writes about being—repeatedly—assaulted by her swim coach at age 14. Because of this man, “I wasn’t studying with my friends. I wasn’t home with my family. I was clenching my teeth, squeezing my legs tightly together, waiting to breathe again. And I was silent. Always silent.”
New York Times
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Shorter but sweeter? Korn Ferry interviewed 57 female CEOs in an attempt to “crack the code” of their success. Among their six takeaways: Women are often qualified for the corner office several years before they get there, leaving them with “fewer years to have an impact in the top job.”
Harvard Business Review
• Brussels not a boys’ club? Politico‘s list of the top 20 most influential women in Brussels (that is to say, Western European politics) is out. At number one? A group the publication calls the “tech titans”: the women who run the top five industry bodies, three of the four European commissioners handling sensitive digital files, and the heads of the Brussels offices of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Intel.
• Another day, another spreadsheet. To add to Val’s list of sexual harassment controversies in state capitols from last week’s Broadsheet: Women in Texas’s statehouse created their own secret spreadsheet—called the “Burn Book of Bad Men”—to chronicle abuses in the capitol, which allegedly range from groping to sexual assault. There are 38 male politicians on the list.
• Can I get an invite? The 2018 Met Gala will be co-hosted by Donatella Versace, Rihanna, and Amal Clooney (who has attended only once before). The theme of the annual fashion super-event? “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”
ON MY RADAR
The medical research gap that’s leaving women’s health startups behind
Germany must allow third gender category, court rules
New York Times
The Senate now has mandatory sexual harassment training
Kristen Stewart’s new short film is going to make you uncomfortable