Louis C.K.’s Grammy win sparks backlash amid Will Smith slap at Oscars: ‘So much for cancel culture’

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Louis C.K.’s album, “Sincerely Louis C.K.,” was named best comedy album at Sunday’s 2022 Grammy Awards in Las Vegas — five years after he admitted to sexual misconduct.

The controversial comedian was nominated against Nate Bargatze (“The Greatest Average American”), Lewis Black (“Thanks for Risking Your Life”), Lavell Crawford (“The Comedy Vaccine”), Chelsea Handler (“Evolution”) and Kevin Hart (“Zero F—s Given”).

The 54-year-old didn’t attend the ceremony and his win wasn’t televised during the CBS broadcast. It was C.K.’s third Grammy win in the category and the first since he admitted to sexual misconduct in 2017.

Viewers immediately took to Twitter and slammed the recording academy while launching a fiery debate about Will Smith and his behavior at the 2022 Oscars on March 27.

“So much for ‘cancel culture,’” one viewer tweeted. “Apparently you can do whatever you want if you’re famous.”

“I don’t want to hear anything else about Will Smith now that Louis C.K. not only was nominated but just won an award #GRAMMYs,” one critic chimed.

“Louis CK just won a whole ass Grammy while y’all are either calling for Will Smith’s head or crying about cancel culture,” another user added. “There are no consequences for white cishet men.”

“Embarrassing,” one viewer noted.

Louis C.K.’s Grammy win sparked a fiery debate on social media involving Will Smith’s Oscar slap.
(Getty Images)

“Tell me again how ‘cancel culture’ is a thing,” another added.

In 2017, five women came forward and detailed their experiences with C.K. in a bombshell New York Times report. They claimed that the comedian masturbated in front of them and others without their consent. Following the allegations of sexual misconduct, C.K. released a lengthy statement admitting that “these stories are true” and that he would be taking a step back from the spotlight.

“The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else,” he said at the time. “And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.”

Five women came forward in 2017 and accused Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct.
(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca TV Festival)

FX, which aired his shows “Louie” and “Better Things,” cut ties with C.K. following the admission. Netflix canceled an upcoming stand-up special, HBO removed all of his content from their library and his reps dropped him. Orchard also canceled the release of his film “I Love You, Daddy” and C.K. went on to buy the rights of the title back.

In 2018, C.K. returned to stand-up, doing sets at New York City’s Comedy Cellar. A nationwide comedy tour was also announced last August.

In his latest album, C.K. joked about the allegations and addressed the effect they had on him, particularly while he was in public after they came to light.

In November, recording academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. defended the organization’s decision to grant people like C.K. a nomination.

“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,” he told The Wrap. “If it is, they can submit for consideration.”

“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” Mason shared. “We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”

On Friday, Smith resigned from the motion picture academy following his Oscars slap of Chris Rock and said he would accept any further punishment the organization imposed. Film academy president David Rubin said the actor’s resignation was accepted.

During the televised ceremony, the 53-year-old hit Rock, who made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while presenting the Oscar for best documentary. Smith later went on to win the best actor award for his role in “King Richard.”

Will Smith won his first Oscar for ‘King Richard’.
(Foto AP/Chris Pizzello)

The fallout was immediate and intense. Smith had supporters for coming to his wife’s defense, but he was widely condemned for responding with violence and for marring both his long-sought Oscar victory and overshadowing the night’s other winners.

“We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18,” said Rubin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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