The Louie alum, 54, won the honor for Best Comedy Album during the Sunday, April 3, show for his Sincerely, Louis C.K. special, his first since the scandal. Louis C.K. beat out Lavell Crawford (The Comedy Vaccine), Chelsea Handler (Evolution), Lewis Black (Thanks for Risking Your Life), Nate Bargatze (The Greatest Average American) and Kevin Hart (Zero F—ks Given).
While his win was included in the preshow ceremony, viewers who tuned in were not pleased to learn that his record had been recognized in light of the 2017 scandal.
“Yes, it should have destroyed Louis CK’s career. He should have no career anymore. But instead, Louis CK, who masturbated in front of women without consent, then derailed careers, just won best comedy album at the #grammys,” a Twitter user wrote on Sunday.
Another retorted: “I wonder if the careers of the women comedians Louis CK forced to watch him masturbate — who were allegedly threatened by CK’s manager — have recovered from the stigma of coming forward. Louis CK’s own career seems to have bounced back very well.
The Secret Life of Pets voice actor was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in November 2017, who claimed that he masturbated directly in front of them or while they were on the phone with him. He later confirmed the allegations.
“I want to address the stories told to The New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not,” the comedian said in a lengthy statement to Us Weekly at the time. “These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my d—k 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. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The Washington, D.C. native continued: “I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. … I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it. There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.”
Several of the comic’s projects and network partnerships had been canceled amid the news. Sincerely, Louis C.K. was his return to stand-up comedy upon its April 2020 release. While social media users criticized his nomination after the scandal, the Recording Academy stood by his inclusion.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told The Wrap in November 2021. “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”