Rebecca Corry, the comedian, writer and actress who was one of several women to accuse Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct, discussed her decision to speak out and the ways victims of abuse continue to be dismissed even in the #MeToo era.
"It's hell making the decision to speak out, and it's hell after the decision has been made," Corry wrote in an essay for Vulture. "That said, I will never regret telling the truth. I and so many others didn't feel we had options, but hopefully now that's changing."
Corry was one five women to accuse C.K. of sexual misconduct in The New York Times last November. She said that in 2005, while they were shooting a television pilot, C.K. asked if he could masturbate in front of her. In her Vulture essay, Corry said that that day she was "put on an unspoken 'list' I never asked or wanted to be on. And being on that list has not made my work as a writer, actress, and comedian any easier. It was never on my vision board to be a Time magazine 'silence breaker' or a lifelong goal to be pictured in People magazine, labeled as a 'victim.'"
Long before she publicly spoke about C.K., Corry said she was unable to free herself from "the C.K. masturbation narrative." His behavior was an open secret in the comedy and entertainment worlds, and though Corry grew frustrated when she heard others defending him and disparaging his victims, she said she remained silent "because I didn’t want to be a part of it."
Though Corry said she did not regret her decision to speak out, she was frank about the aftermath. She faced vicious backlash from her peers in comedy. She singled out Dave Chappelle for saying, in his recent Netflix special, that one of C.K.'s accusers had a "brittle-ass spirit."
"His rambling bit, filled with ignorance and vitriol, isn't comedy," Corry said. "It's just another example of a comedy giant misusing his power and platform to hurt someone."
Corry noted she's even been shunned by close friends since speaking out. Two friends, who were at the shoot in 2005, refused to corroborate her story to the Times using their names. Other friends have simply stopped talking to her. "Speaking out feels like standing in front of the world naked under fluorescent lights on a really bad day," Corry said. "I knew making myself so vulnerable would bring scrutiny from the outside, but my personal life has also been damaged by my decision to tell the truth."
Corry also addressed the rumors that C.K. is plotting a "comeback," and took issue with the very word, saying it suggested C.K. was "the underdog and victim, and he is neither." Corry urged supporters of #MeToo and Time's Up, as well as the journalists covering the movements, "to focus on the people struggling in the aftermath, and less on the celebrities attaching themselves to the movement and salacious clickbait details. Everyone deserves to do their job without fear of being forced into an impossible situation. And no one should ever be attacked or judged for standing up for themselves."