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Artist RightsTV

The Artists Working On Louis C.K.’s Animated Series Were Laid Off – Read This Open Letter From One Of Them

Among the people impacted by last week’s revelation that Louis C.K. had sexually harassed numerous women: the crew of his upcoming primetime animated series The Cops.

Following Louis C.K.’s confirmation that the allegations were accurate, TBS halted production on the series, which was being made at Starburns Industries in Burbank, California. There is uncertainty about whether TBS will find a way to move forward the show, which starred Louis C.K. and was co-created by him.

The artists who were working on the series, however, have been laid off from the production. They were given the news on Monday.

One of those artists, art director Francis Giglio, wrote an open letter to Louis C.K. and posted it on his Facebook page yesterday.

With Giglio’s permission, we are reprinting the letter below. Giglio tells Cartoon Brew that the show had been redesigned from the earlier images released from the pilot, and that he was “very happy with how the show was coming together thanks to the amazing crew we had.”

Giglio’s letter was written on a box that he used to pack up his office:

Francis Giglio's letter to Louis C.K.
Francis Giglio’s letter to Louis C.K.

The full text:

My name is Francis Giglio and I am was the Art Director on your animated show “The Cops.”

I am writing to you today to give a voice to another group of people that have been affected by your actions. The amazingly talented crew on The Cops that has been tirelessly working hard to create a unique prime time animated show. We now find ourselves out of a job right before the holiday season. So many of us are frantically looking for a new project to jump on. Myself included as my wife stays home with our 3 year old daughter and I want to always make sure they are taken care of.

However here is the bigger point.

All of the stress and frustration that I find myself in now is nothing compared to the pain and distress you have caused those women. I will happily walk away from this project and any other project to fully support anyone that needs to come forward about sexual abuse or harassment.

Best Regards,
Francis Giglio
Art Director, The Cops

  • Anonymous

    We also lose our jobs when the directors and writers don’t have their act together and can’t come up with anything.

    • Jordann William Edwards

      Makes me think of a project that I had a hand in. I wanted it to be good, but a certain someone needs to get their act together.

  • Mister_Munchie

    I feel horribly for the artists. But few would disagree The Cops needed to be IMMEDIATELY cancelled as a strong statement of zero tolerance for sexual abuse and harassment.

    When Amid and others called for a similar strong statement from Nickelodeon over the Loud House fiasco, many fans and even animation professionals were beside themselves with outrage. That innocent artists shouldn’t end up as collateral damage from an irresponsible network trying to do damage control.

    Well, I agree they shouldn’t, but it’s the fault of scumbag sexual predator show creators, not the networks, for the show getting axed. Mr. Giglio gets it and assigns the proper blame in his note. He is first and foremost supporting the victims.

    Nickelodeon should halt production on the Loud House, shelve the unaired episodes and dump the movie. They should offer ALL affected artists a position on a new show or a generous bonus/severance package if possible. They’re a huge network, they can afford this. But what they can’t afford to do is to continue to promote the work of sexual predators, even those who are less famous than Louis CK.

    • Poppy Plum

      I have to agree. This should be dealt with in the same manner as House of Cards and Kevin Spacy. Yes people lose work on the project but there are other projects…the perpetrator should NEVER profit from the affected show ever again. Unfortunately the only way to do that is cancel the show. I’m a bit perplexed LoadHouse is still airing considering the charges and admissions of the creator.

      • Uno numero, because the show is relatively popular, judging by the amount of ratings that it usually based on new episode + regular reruns, aside from Spongebob, apparently canceling it would be a waste of time + money that the network usually makes, as along as the show can do better without the creator being involved, well that’s fine by everyone else who watches it.

        • Mister_Munchie

          So profiting from the work of sexual abusers is just dandy, keep contributing to the culture that enables and rewards predators, and screw the victims as long as money is to be made? Cool opinion.
          And it would appear that Nickelodeon agrees with you!

          • Fried

            “So profiting from the work of sexual abusers is just dandy”
            Loud House is not the equivalent of blood diamonds, it was not made possible due to the sexual harassment of women. Savino wasn’t using his Loud House fame to corner women because his LH fame is recent and what happened with him had been going on for a full decade.

            Otherwise you could argue everything he’s worked on from Dexter’s Lab and Foster’s Home was made possible through the actions of a sexual harasser.

          • Parent

            I think canceling the shows to send a message makes sense. Zero tolerance.

            I have mixed feelings about how the it impacts the crews and people working on said shows. These folks have done nothing wrong and now their livlihood is suffering.

            Maybe going after the management or producers would be better rather than halting productions ? Im sure someone in a suit knew something was going on and turned a blind eye…

            Everyone involved should lose all credits and rights to the intellectual property..stripped of it… I think having a hit show making millions and never getting a dime could be a nice punishment?

            Should netflix drop all of kevon spaceys movies? Do you drop all Nickelodeon products? They created an environmental where this behaviour was permitted to grow….is louis ck present for all 5 productions in progress?

            Hit them in their wallets but the impact on the workers and artists making these products are innocent aside from those than enabled it.

            Anyone who enables it or sisnt speak out shohld lose credit and money…

          • Steve Nordquist

            Harassment-specific product does exist, then it should be made into rather specific Discourse or fb or twitter moments for people who need to develop a proxy for missing empathy. 0 tolerance to a show with 120 contributors is psychotic; that’s teaching people to put blackmail and larceny first, producer or not.

          • diamond

            Not really no, if Chris is no longer a part of the show and isn’t making from it himself, I see no reason whatsoever why it should be cancelled. That’s like using a rocket launcher to kill a wasp, it’s just overly excessive and unnecessary.

          • Mister_Munchie

            Do you think Louis CK’s show The Cops should NOT have been cancelled then?

          • Fried

            No, why should it? Just find someone to re-dub over Louie or even get a Louie sound-alike. They have a Jack Black soundalike for the Kung Fu Panda show. They replaced Skyler Page as Clarence when he got booted. The re-dubbed the entirety of The Good Dinosaur months before it came out. It’s possible.

            I don’t think most people were even aware of The Cops coming out and I don’t think Louie’s name attached would have bolstered the ratings. We’ve had other adult comedies like Allen Gregory, Moonbeam City, and Sit Down Shut Up where the celebrity presence wasn’t enough to bring in the viewers.

            This to me feels like the Aflac situation where no one was even aware Gottfried did the duck’s voice until after he got canned. I’m betting they could have replaced Louie’s voice before the show ever aired and 90% of the audience wouldn’t even be aware of it.

          • diamond

            It wasn’t really Louis’s show, he was producing it, not creating it.

          • martha

            I’m so sick of this approach (at other people’s expense usually) in which a situation will arise and all the eager bereavers leap out of the darkness to get a red face and pound the desk. Just read this back to yourself- ‘So profiting from the work of sexual abusers is just dandy, keep contributing to the culture that enables and rewards predators, and screw the victims as long as money is to be made?’… take a deep breath and ask yourself if this is really what NeoplanDAN440 actually meant? Unless you are an utter teapot you will see that that was clearly not the colour of their post.
            All this sexual misconduct horror is an awful situation but for so many it won’t be enough until even those who sold drinks to the accused are also flayed alive.
            Go ahead and say I’m supporting beelzebub and all his little wizards… how dare I etc etc…

          • BlueBoomPony

            That’s how “debate” works in today’s world. You conform to an individual’s narrative or you are literally Hitler/Stalin/Mao/whatever.

          • Well, isn’t this what companies do best, make more money just because of the high ratings, regardless if the showrunner hence creator do something wrong that is hidden in the shadow. Hell, how do you think another show like Clarence, who had the creator accused of mental issues hence adding sexual harassment, is still running until they decided to end the series.

    • diamond

      No Nick should not have to screw over a succesful show just because the creator was a serial abuser, Clarence didn’t stop after Skyler Page got fired, so I see no reason why Loud House should stop either, it’s not fair to the rest of the cast.

    • Marc Sch

      I personally don’t agree. There is no need to cancel a show just because some talent attached to it did something bad. Just replace the talent. If the show is good, it should be evaluated on its own merit, not the hysteria and hoopla attached to the people attached to it.

    • Barrett

      I strongly disagree. I see the immediate cancellation of this show as an overreaction that is unfair to both the creative staff and audiences. I would understand taking a pause of a few weeks at most, while a new comedian is cast for the role. Just because this show was Louis C.K.’s brainchild and had a main character voiced by him doesn’t mean it couldn’t have moved on without him, albeit with some delay. The Shrek feature film was designed to fir Chris Farley, but he had to go and O.D. on horse, so rather than cancel the film, they recast the role with Mike Myers and reworked it to fit his comedy style. It was a major disruption, but it didn’t kill the project, and it went on to great success.
      Killing “The Cops” outright because of something no one involved in production likely knew about or could have done anything about it wrong. Wrong for workers, wrong for audiences. This country needs to rework how the “outrage machine” is targeted, so that a finer laser of criticism and condemnation strikes only those who did wrong, not those innocently tied to them.

  • Rachelle Beasley

    So proud of you Fran. You have always been a stand up kind of guy. You three are the cutest!

  • My name is Rio

    It’s always the working guy thst gets the hose while the big guys on top retire with all the ill gotten wealth they adquired.

    My sincere words of strengh and faith for all of those affected by this selfish and despicable man.

  • CeeDee

    Way to go, dear artists. May you all land even better jobs!

  • Chiron Click

    Why did they cancel this show? Did CK masturbate on the storyboard or something?

    • KW

      Everything with his name on it is tainted now. They could release the show but there’s a large risk now of the show crashing and burning because people wont want to support something he’s done.

      • Steve Nordquist

        It was remedy for that from the get go rather than a separate thing; that the liner notes are looking ragged from mistakes doesn’t mean we’re transferring the Unicorn Chaser recipe (and 3 juicer consultants) to the state and selling the concept and use of Improv to Turkish Prison #34.
        That said, next explainer is fantastic. (anyone?)

  • waterworld

    Awful situation.

  • Fried

    Louie is one of the only people who gives a genuine response to his actions and specifically addresses them rather than giving some copy-pasted apology, deals with it head-on, realizes the consequences, so people out there continue to want to make him feel awful for it and even crap on him even harder than someone like Savino who did far worse?

    Yeah, “go artists”, how very “brave” of them to do this. Especially since they had nothing to lose, it seems.

    • diamond

      His apology was half-assed at best, he mostly made it all about himself and sounded like he was desperately trying to get sympathy.

    • KW

      Just because he apologizes doesn’t mean all should be forgiven and we all go back to pretending like nothing happened. Sure he’s said more than most that have been exposed this year but I cant help but wonder if he’s sorry or if he’s sorry he got caught.

      • Fried

        He already got kicked off every project he was working on and his career in the immediate is already ruined, what is the point of this letter in the aftermath if not just for self-righteous back-patting? It would be one thing if the show was continuing and the crew decided to quit out of their own principles. It’s another when they’re canned and they write the letter as a, “Yeah, well, we would have walked away anyway!”.

        This open letter sure as hell isn’t a way to stand up for victims because every studio has already done that by canning every single one of Louie’s projects. This just feels like people taking their anger out on Louie because they unfortunately lost their jobs. What other need would there be to make it public rather than sending a physical private letter where the whole crew signed it?

  • filmbuff

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

    • filmbuff

      Ok, let me try this again, as being rude was not the idea and the antagonism was probably not articulated as well as i could.
      Losing a job for reasons beyond one’s control is indeed very sad, but this is not some conscious sacrifice for one’s moral convictions, so logically the only purpose this letter serves is to pile on the guilt. My simple point is that it never looks good when you kick a guy who is already down, especially if it looks like you are trying to show your moral superiority and this is not just to francis but also the folks that decided to make the letter public.

      • ArtBats

        Aside from the “I’m not feeling any sympathy for Louis CK getting ‘kicked while he’s down'” aspect, the point of this is to show people that there are a lot of impacted lives when people at the top abuse their power. That they’re hurting A LOT of people in addition to all the hurt they’re piling on their victims.

        There are WAY too many apologists that’re out there, just shrugging and going, “So what, she just saw his junk, big deal.” and NOT considering the ramifications on many, MANY people’s lives. This letter is for them. If Louis also feels more bad about this while he’s “down,” then so be it. He’s sitting on a big pile of money, what do I care that his feelings get hurt?

        • Steve Nordquist

          Not even Weird Al ever mixes the accordion over the drums.

  • Anonymous Animator

    I loved Louis CK’s comedy, but he deserves everything that’s coming to him right now.

    But what about those who produced this show for Starburns? Are we supposed to believe that neither Dan Harmon or Dino Stamatopoulos knew this open secret about CK? Or frequent collaborator Andy Dick’s problems with sexual misconduct or producer Simon Oré’s role in Cinefamily’s sexual misconduct scandal? There’s a problem with the culture at Starburns and those at the top need to address it.

  • Marielle

    I don’t get the point of this letter. Louis CK did those things before creating his job. It’s very unfortunate, but he bet on the wrong horse, he started working for a guy who had skeletons in his closet. As for his family’s choice to function on a single income, that’s not on Louis CK.

    • annon

      this is not a very fair statement for ALL the artists.

  • Ghost376

    There is a lot of hypocrisy going on. What happened to having punishment proportional to the crime ? What happened to equal treatment ?
    In a court of law, pleading guilty lessens your punishment. Here, Louis is the only one to have fully admitted, and yet, is punishment is an order of magnitude worse than people like Weinstein or Spacey. They did not admit, Weinstein just put on a parody of getting therapy yet they both still have their movies on Netflix, HBO and anywhere else, they’re still benefiting from them. Louis CK did own his guilt and is being erased out of existence. It’s as if he is punished for breaking the rule of silence – and he is not punished by women, but by the men in power.
    In a court of law, punishment is proportional to the crime. Weinstein is accused of several rapes, of assault and harassment. Spacey is accused of rape. Polanski has been convicted of rape on an underage girl for ages – his movies are still on Netflix, they’re still in theaters, he is currently a guest star in Paris, he still finds producers. Woody Allen, suspected of molesting his own child – no problem, still on Netflix, honored at Oscars and Cannes festival, huge success in theaters, finds producers easily enough to make a movie a year, stills finds A list actors to play for him. Phil Spector, found guilty of killing a woman and in jail – no problem, his productions are still on Apple Music, Spotify or Deezer, he is still earning a huge amount of money even from jail. Louis CK ? Accused of indecent exposure in front of adult women with consent being uncertain (he didn’t proceed and gave excuses to the one that explicitly said NO) – all contracts broken, previous work being pulled out of network.
    Yes, Louis CK is guilty – he admitted to himself. And given what is happened to him, we can be certain noone else will ever own it again, be prepared for a long succession of careful worded legal declarations denying everything from now on, the punishment for admitting the victims are right is too high. And what happened to due process, to scaling punishment to the severity of the crime, to having equal punishment ?

    • ArtBats

      This isn’t a punishment being meted out by a court of law. This is a TV studio dropping the project of someone who’s just become bad-PR. TV studios cancel shows all the time for any manner of reasons. And The Cops was a show that put CK front and center with his voice and likeness, which is going to be WAY more front-and-center to the viewers than a person’s name in the credits.

      The entertainment industry isn’t the judicial system, so this isn’t “punishment fitting a crime,” it’s “TV studio no longer paying for a show that isn’t bankable.”

    • b hertz

      FAO anyone considering typing a furious response to this entirely reasonable post, could you please be sure to address this part specifically:

      “given what is happened to him, we can be certain noone else will ever own it again, be prepared for a long succession of careful worded legal declarations denying everything from now on, the punishment for admitting the victims are right is too high.”

      • ArtBats

        It’s not that he admitted it that his “punishment” is suddenly higher than if he’d not. Look, Bill Cosby denying or admitting doesn’t really change the fact that no one wants to watch the Cosby Show any more. The only difference is that CK’s shows were still on-air/in development. No one’s going to watch a show starring Louis CK, whether he admitted or denied it, so what TV studio’s going to waste the airtime?

        • Kevin T. Rodriguez

          They said the same thing about Woody Allen when it was discovered he was having an affair with his adopted daughter. But, give people the chance to do just that, and they have proven many times to be VERY forgiving if they enjoy the entertainment (and “The Cosby Show” is still doing well in reruns and on streaming services despite the allegations)!

      • Steve Nordquist

        Reconcile and pivot, studio layabouts!

  • Draško Ivezić

    Maybe this is not a subject, but rather my comment on the industry hypocrites – why Louis CK turns like rapist and they remove his shows from all streaming services? I don’t see VOD, networks and cable providers remove products done by Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. I read this letter as another shout in the moral vertical and hitting down someone who is already laying down, but also without a real understanding of underlaying forces of P.R, power in the industry and what are the reasons behind green lighting or shutting down of the show.

  • James

    This runs way deeper than just people in Hollywood. There’s a person, up in Canada. Name is Mark Van Ee. He’s been producer for rick and morty and was also producer for cops until recently. He’s done some heinous stuff and Bardel Entertainment keeps covering for him. He creates an environment where harassment is allowed and has been known to be inappropriate with lots of workers on different productions. He’s even stated that he can’t be touched since he’ll be running rock and Mort season 4.

    • Ai Jusko

      I’ve worked with Mark for many years on various projects including Rick and Morty and he’s always been professional hardworking and put the artists needs in front of his own. I don’t know why you would write this but anyone who knows him knows that your claim is completely untrue.

  • Akira

    also, thank you Louie for the money i got working for you in the job i chose! if you can get a hold of a time machine go back and remake every decision in your interactions with females perfectly, i wonder if people will still think you’re funny enough to greenlight one of your cartoon ideas and get me that job back?

  • We are all different and that is what makes this world a beautiful place. This world is often ugly. I will not engage in negativity, lies and further drama created by those feeling the need to make an already devastating situation worse. However, I will always defend my husband as he would defend me. Fran did not know about the sexual misconduct behavior of Louis C.K. He does not know him. Period. He never met the man. Surely, there were some in the industry aware; my husband was not one of them. I am so proud of my artist for speaking out, for raising even more awareness of this disgusting epidemic, for thinking of others not just himself after losing his job and our only source of income. He is bringing light to a very dark time. For those who have nothing kind to say please heed the advice of Thumper’s father “if you can’t say something nice don’t say nothing at all.” THANK YOU to those who have reached out with encouragement and support it means more to our family than words could ever convey.

    • Jourdan Barnett

      I am very sorry for what had happened to your husband. I don’t work in animation industry but I know that artist put a lot of heart, sweat and time into their show. It’s not fair that everyone has to pay for one persons actions. I hope he works on another project soon. Best of luck.

  • Brian

    I feel saddened about this situation and everyone affected by this – the artists and the ladies alike. But I also can’t help thinking about how the decisions of one man (who’s not even the president of the country) can make one bad decision that negatively affects ( the whole entire destiny of ?) hundreds of artists. Well only if you let him. Only if you give him that much power.

  • mxxx

    so sad the reality of all this. if you have to blame 1 you have to blame so many more people also social human system cultures. on a up note I highly recommend artists start working together more closely. the times should be a wakeup call that theres holes in the major ships. So sad but great time for a fresh start post this period.