The release of Louis C.K.’s new film “I Love You, Daddy” has been scrapped in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations levied against the comedian.
“The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of ‘I Love You, Daddy,'” the indie film company announced in a terse statement on Friday morning.
The New York Times published a bombshell report on Thursday in which five women accused the comic of sexual misconduct. They claim that he pressured them to watch or listen as he masturbated. The allegations against C.K. have emerged as part of a series of sexual harassment and abuse reports that have upended the entertainment industry. Last month, the New Yorker and the New York Times published a series of articles claiming that indie mogul Harvey Weinstein had raped or harassed dozens of women. In the wake of those reports, actors and entertainment figures such as Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick, Jeffrey Tambor, and Brett Ratner have found themselves engulfed in scandals involving a range of sexual improprieties and misdeeds.
The Orchard also canceled Thursday’s New York premiere of the controversial film leading up to the Times expose. The comedy had been set to open in limited release on Nov. 17 before going wide in the following weeks. On Thursday, the company’s leadership weighed what to do with the film. There was a sense that it would be foolhardy to release it straight to digital services and avoid a theatrical run. Better, the company brass reasoned, to yank the film entirely.
“I Love You, Daddy” had already generated controversy heading into its debut for an inter-generational romance at the core of the drama. It centers on a successful television writer whose daughter becomes the object of an older filmmaker idol’s obsessions. His daughter, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, is 17. The director is played by John Malkovich, who is several decades removed from the teenager. C.K. stars in the film, as well as wrote and directed it.
The Orchard spent $5 million for rights to the film out of the Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere this September. It is the second time that a high-profile festival acquisition has been undone by allegations surrounding its driving creative force. In 2016, “The Birth of the Nation” saw its Oscar chances explode and its box office prospects evaporate after reports emerged that Nate Parker, its star, director, producer, and co-writer, had been accused of rape while a college student. Fox Searchlight had paid $17.5 million for rights to the film out of Sundance. It’s unclear if the Orchard will be able to get its money back.
Since the story on C.K. broke, the comedian’s HBO projects, which include “Lucky Louie,” are being removed from the premium cable channel’s on-demand services. In addition, the network said C.K. will no longer be participating in its “Night of Too Many Stars” charity special. FX Networks, which produce’s C.K.’s acclaimed series “Louie,” said it was conduct a “review” in light of the allegations.