Louis C.K. received a number of repercussions following the sexual misconduct allegations made against him and that he later admitted to. His film “I Love You, Daddy” was cancelled for both its limited and worldwide releases, FX Networks cut ties with him and cancelled his upcoming stand-up special and Illumination Entertainment will not have him reprise his role as Max in the upcoming “Secret Life of Pets” sequel.
All of these decisions seem like rational methods of giving Louis C.K. the consequences he deserves for the lewd acts he had shamefully committed during his career, though one outcome of the changes made following the allegations toward the comedian has left some scratching their heads.
In two episodes of the animated Disney Channel series “Gravity Falls,” Louis C.K. had previously voiced a tertiary character in the midst of a cosmic apocalypse. In most recent reruns of the series, Louis C.K.’s voice is edited out entirely and replaced by Alex Hirsch’s, the creator of “Gravity Falls.”
The reasoning behind this change is somewhat understandable; removing C.K.’s voiceover and omitting him completely from the credits means that he will no longer receive residuals throughout the rerun process; however, it does make me question: what was the purpose of dubbing over the line otherwise?
I understand that the atmosphere behind C.K.’s behavior may have caused Disney to want to remove connections to him all together. It is exactly what happened with “The Cosby Show,” which was taken off of TV Land completely following backlash against Bill Cosby— which also left many of the other cast members in a poor position, as they were not getting paid for reruns.
The mindset of completely disconnecting with these people once they have tarnished their reputation is a logical business practice, because if you are not immediately disassociating, then your entire company is looked at as a business that enables rapists and deviants. Dubbing over a line in an animated series that ended nearly two years ago, however, is simply trying to whitewash history.
Kevin Spacey received most of the punishments that C.K. did: terminated relationships with film studios and television networks, the cancellation of his series “House of Cards” and many other films he would be a part of went into “development hell.”
However, I am not speaking in terms of quality when it comes to this topic; if we are speaking in technical terms, C.K.’s voice is easily funnier than Hirsch’s when it comes to the “Gravity Falls” episode. Instead, I am speaking on the issue of preservation of history.
In reference to another animated example, “Looney Tunes” and other Warner Bros. shorts have been known for their depictions of racial caricatures during the 1940s. Some of those cartoons have been banned from television as a result, though all do exist on DVD and digital releases worldwide.
Those cartoons, by the way, are awfully embarrassing. They are filled with ugly anachronisms that do not hold up in the slightest.
However, to ignore that they ever existed would be ignoring a very real part of history that did affect the world greatly at one point in time. Dubbing over C.K.’s voice, as a result, is trying to ignore the fact that, yes, a sexual predator once voiced a character on an animated Disney series for kids. Nevertheless, it did happen, regardless of what the network wants you to believe otherwise.
Even textbook examples, such as the allegation that Christopher Columbus was a notorious rapist, despite the fact that he is an undeniable icon of the United States. Are we to ignore Christopher Columbus’s existence, despite his role in the founding of America being a crucial one, because of his crimes?
Once again, I am not arguing about the circumstances surrounding any celebrities who have been accused of predatory actions. I believe everything that has been happening to them in the present should be.
However, I also acknowledge that the past should be left in the past and should further serve as a reminder of what we are striving to improve in the future.