Before the five women came forward to accuse C.K. of sexual misconduct last week, Maron said he previously addressed the rumors with C.K. himself, who denied them.
“Sadly, I knew what most people knew. There was a story out there, I guess going back several years, there were unnamed people in the story, it took place in a hotel room in Aspen,” Maron said on Monday’s episode of his podcast, “WTF, Maron.” “It was always out there, but then it would pick up momentum at different times. And I would ask him about it. I would say, ‘This story about you forcing these women to watch you jerk off, what is that, is that true?'”
Maron detailed their discussion. “He goes, ‘No, it’s not true. It’s not real. It’s a rumor.’ And I would say, ‘Well, are you going to address it somehow? Handle it? Get out from under it whenever it shows up?’ ‘No I can’t, I can’t do that. I can’t give it life, give it air.’ That was the conversation.”
“So I believed my friend. It’s just the environment that enabled the dismissiveness of it,” Maron said. “How do I put this? The work environment, the social environment makes it difficult for people to come forward and be heard, to be listened to, to be believed, and for action to be taken around that. It is pushed aside, it is dismissed, it is framed as an annoyance or an embarrassment, it is used against people, it is used as a threat, that is the structure that exists in life.”
C.K. confirmed the stories on Friday and apologized, saying, “These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d— 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 d— isn’t a question.”
In the wake of the scandal, Indie distributor The Orchard canceled the Nov. 17 release of C.K.’s film “I Love You, Daddy,” while Netflix scrapped a planned comedy special, and HBO announced it would remove all programs from the comedian off its platforms. FX and 3 Arts Entertainment also cut ties with C.K., and Universal Pictures and Illumination have terminated their relationship with the comedian for the sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”