In light of the continuing revelations regarding sexual abuse and harassment in male-dominated industries, one woman has decided to make art out of this tragedy. Several of the men accused of sexual harassment have released apologies (or defenses) for the allegations against them, and poet Isobel O’Hare is turning their statements into poems.
Louis C.K.’s statement is probably one of the more direct admissions we’ve seen, and yet it still left a lot to be desired. While C.K. appeared very aware of his actions and expressed insight into his own psychoses, the public yearned for more empathy and perhaps even the phrase “I’m sorry,” which wasn’t mentioned among his many words. Additionally, his apology seemed to misunderstand the meaning of consent and has generally been regarded as narcissistic.
“I’ve been erasing/fixing celebrity sexual abuse statements. Here is Louis CK’s,” O’Hare tweeted along with the erasure poem.
Erase poetry is found poetry created by erasing words from an existing text. O’Hare takes the apology in its original form and erases portions of the statement until she arrives on the essence of the text.
“My dick is a question I run from,” reads O’Hare’s new poetic interpretation of C.K.’s apology.
She’s been doing this for all the celebrity statements since they began with Harvey Weinstein — blacking out words until she distills the professional statements to a truer, more compact essence.
Kevin Spacey: “There are stories out there about me that have been fueled by my own behavior.”
Harvey Weinstein: “I came of age in a culture of demons I respect more than women.”
Jeremy Piven: “These women destroy careers and need to be addressed.”
She edited C.K.’s statement several times. Another one read: “My dick wielded power irresponsibly.”
And also, “These women. These women.”
You can find more of her poetry on her Instagram.