B.C. animators out of work due to Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct admissions

Vancouver’s Bardel Entertainment was in charge of animation for ‘The Cops,’ set to star Louis C.K.

Dozens of employees for a Vancouver-based animation studio lost a big gig recently after a new Louis C.K. TV series was shelved because of his admissions of sexual misconduct.

Vancouver’s Bardel Entertainment was in charge of animation for ”The Cops,” a new TBS cartoon produced by and starring Louis C.K. and Albert Brooks. Fifty-three animators at the studio were put out of work when the show was cancelled after the comedian admitted to masturbating in front of, or on the phone with, five women he worked with at various points in the career.

Kelani Lim, a production manager who oversaw animation on the show, says the news came as a blow. Many people had signed on to the project because they were big fans of Louis C.K.’s work.

“I was shocked, since I hadn’t expected him to ever be accused of such things,” she said in an email. “It was really difficult to digest, and I felt awful for the women coming forward.”

Lim says she was lucky that she was able to find another project to work on about a week after production of “The Cops” was indefinitely halted.

About half of the Bardel employees who lost their jobs were placed on another show that was starting at that time, says Tina Chow, the company’s head of development. She says finding positions for the others has been relatively easy because there’s so much demand for skilled animators.

READ MORE: Comedian Louis C.K. says allegations of sexual misconduct are true

“It’s a very busy industry in Vancouver,” Chow says. “We were lucky.”

That wasn’t the case at Starburns Industries, the L.A. studio making “The Cops,” which hired Bardel to take over animation.

In July, when Francis Giglio started working at Starburns as art director for “The Cops,” he was thrilled. He had mostly worked on animated shows for children before, and was looking forward to a primetime project. Giglio and the team of about 40 people he supervised at had completed storyboards for the show’s first five or six episodes when they heard the news in early November.

The day the allegations broke, Giglio says the atmosphere in the studio was one of shock and confusion. He remembers his employees coming into his office, asking: ”What does this mean? Is the show over with? What do we do?”

Even at that point, he remembers people saying they didn’t want to work on a show starring Louis C.K. if he really did the things he was accused of. Giglio was among them. “I was fine from walking away from the project, if the allegations were true,” he says.

The next day, the comedian released a statement confirming that his accusers’ stories were accurate. Giglio says everyone just left work early, disgusted. They were told to come back into work on Monday as if it were a normal work day, but they all knew it wasn’t.

Later that night, the staff received an email that said production on the show had been halted indefinitely.

“They paid us out for the rest of the week, but that was it,” Giglio says. ”We didn’t have any severance or anything.”

Giglio has managed to find a new project, and he says he knows that makes him lucky. “As far as the rest of my staff goes, very few have been able to find employment,” he says. ”Most of them are still looking.”

In an open letter to Louis C.K. written on the side of a cardboard box he used to pack up his office, Giglio underlined just how many people were affected by the comedian’s behaviour.

“So many of us are frantically looking for a new project to jump on,” he wrote. ”Myself included as my wife stays home with our three-year-old daughter and I want to always make sure they are taken care of.”

But while he wanted Louis C.K. to think about the far-reaching consequences of his behaviour, in his letter he stressed that the job loss was worth it if it meant holding C.K. accountable.

“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,” the letter goes on to say. ”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.”

Giglio says the response to his open letter has been positive. He even heard from Rebecca Corry, one of Louis C.K.’s accusers, who told the New York Times that she didn’t report the comedian’s request to masturbate in front of her when he appeared on a TV show she worked on because she “had no interest in being the person who shut down a production.”

In a letter she sent Giglio, Corry “was apologizing for me losing my job,” he says. ”That was the whole point of my letter: no, you don’t need to apologize.

“It needs to change. We can’t be blaming the whistleblower.”

Maija Kappler, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brian Shiosaki helps his neighbours by shoveling the sidewalk near his home in Rutland during a large snowfall in Kelowna Tuesday. (Carli Berry/Capital News)
Special weather statement in effect for Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan could see up to 15 centimeters of snow on Friday

Nancy Silverton's Creme Fraiche Brioche Tart that made Julia Child cry. (Photo by Chris Koo)
Liam’s Lowdown: The dessert that made Julia Child’s cry

Since COVID-19 is probably making us cry more, let the tears at least be joyful

Email letters to the editor to jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com
Letter: Campaign endorsement questions

Revelstoke resident talks politics and social media

Nicole Cherlet, NDP, Samson Boyer, Green, Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal.
B.C. VOTES: Columbia River Revelstoke candidates debate one last time

Candidates discuss issues like affordable housing, healthcare, pandemic recovery

Nicole Cherlet for the BC NDP, Samson Boyer for the BC Greens and Doug Clovechok for the BC Liberals will be your choices on the ballot in the upcoming provincial election. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)
BC VOTES: Fact checking claims from Columbia River Revelstoke candidate forum

The Revelstoke Review hosted a candidate forum on Oct. 20

RCMP detachments across B.C. are now flying Pride flags. (Submitted photo)
Man who spent 4 days injured on floor rescued by Kamloops Mountie

The man is recovering in hospital after being rescued by a police officer conducting a well-being check

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Five people with alleged ties to the Red Scorpion Gang are facing numerous charges. (Kelowna RCMP)
5 men linked to Red Scorpion gang charged with gun, drug offences in Kelowna

Police seized a machine gun as well as 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vernon School District reports 95 per cent of its students have returned to classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Fewer local, more international students help cover one Okanagan school district’s $1.2M enrolment deficit

School district projected 13 fee-paying international students; 43 enrolled

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

With snow already on the ground, preparations are underway to welcome back guests at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for the winter season. (KHMR photo)
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort announces COVID procedures

The resort is set to open on Dec. 11.

Most Read