In 2003, Abby Schachner was a comedian who called her more established colleague, Louis C.K., to one of her shows. On the other end of the line, she heard C.K. masturbating, an addition to the conversation she did not consent to.
C.K. was ripped apart for not explicitly saying "sorry" in his statement and taking a few opportunities to reference how established and admired he was, an appropriately masturbatory focus, given the circumstances.
Schachner, who was on on the receiving end of the grossness, released a statement on the matter, and indicated that she was satisfied with C.K.'s response.
In a long statement on Facebook, she says she has forgiven C.K., and is on her way to forging herself.
Louis put out a statement, which frankly, made me cry. It touched me. And I do feel some of his insights speak to how I felt. I looked up to the people who recognized my work and made them (sigh), father figures/mentors whether they wanted that role or not. I shot myself in the foot, protected myself when I needed to be bold, was ‘bold’ when I should’ve been ‘poised’, hid behind ex-boyfriends, excuses, and the excuse of my excuses. I felt like I disappointed anyone who ever believed in me. But most of all, I never truly valued myself.
Schachner put her process in the context of comedy, and the other huge men whose histories are being outed.
In improv, we learn early, that there are no mistakes. Only discoveries. They become part of the whole.
There’s a whole big change happening. One day, I hope these mistakes will just be blips in the beautiful tapestry and not large burned out holes like we’re seeing today.
We see the sickness. Let’s address it. Get it healthy.
I got off easy with Louis. Others aren’t so lucky. But yes, he did abuse his power. And yes, obviously he has a ‘glitch’. But I do, too. We all do. We’re learning a new language here, and we need to be kind, and we need to be open, and we need to be fair, and we need to listen.
I do forgive Louis. I forgave him. But most of all, I think it’s time to forgive myself, too.
The New York Times article suggested that the strange experience with C.K. is why Schachner doesn't do comedy anymore, but that's an over-dramatic reading:
I said Louis was ‘one of many’ reasons why I didn’t pursue ‘comedy’. He wasn’t the only one. He was one jenga piece. And as much as a part of me mourns not achieving that dream, I’m well aware certain personality types might have a better chance thriving in that world. I would say ‘the world’, but let’s not get too overdramatic [sic].
She also had another request from the people.
Years after Scachner was the recipient of that weird call over the receiver, she is doing great. "I didn’t stop creating," said.
"I just found different ways to express myself."