Richard makes great points. I also don't think staying off stage a year, or even your starring film's having its theatrical release cancelled, is necessarily adequate 'punishment' for treating women the way he did and using his professional power, through his agent, to control and suppress their response to that treatment.
I definitely agree, wxwax, that punishments short of life prison sentences *should* have end dates. In your post, you said, "The sense is that they should be shunned from society for... well, nobody's saying." That 'nobody's saying' I take to refer to the lack of clarity about timeframes. As I said, I agree, we can't 'cancel' people forever. Actually, our society already does that, however: it's called the sex offender registry, and depending on your state, it keeps you from living -- or at least sleeping -- almost anywhere. People on the registry literally sleep in their cars in unsafe parking lots in some states because it's illegal for them to live in any apartment or house they can currently afford. That's open-ended for-life social punishment -- akin to 'shunning' -- and it certainly seems unjust, even for people who've committed crimes that make me want to breathe fire in sheer wrath.
Louis C.K. is not being shunned, not by any standard I'm familiar with. I'm sure he's surrounded by people who talk to him and acknowledge his humanity; he still has defenders in the public sphere, let alone friends, family and employees. He's incurring some economic costs for his behavior and the public opprobrium, definitely. How is he being treated in public? Well, read about the set from an audience member: most women in the audience seemed uncomfortable and unenthusiastic, but none of them left or heckled him, possibly because they were in the minority, surrounded by enthusiastic men. A man shouted "Good to have you back!" There was applause when he appeared, and quieter applause when he left. He's hardly Hester Prynne.
Do I personally hate Louis C.K.? No, I always liked him and had an affection for his awkward everyman persona/insights, like many other people. I hate that his actions -- and people's readiness to take him back now -- reinforce that comedy, like many other industries, is not an industry that's ready to treat women with respect. What do I think he needs to do? I'm not sure. He apologized, and took responsibility, and that's a good first step. A good second step would be doing something to substantively address the harm. I think a good policy for whatever steps 3-n are would be to honor the principle of consent even further than we expect normally, to restore trust and demonstrate good faith.
We live in a heavily Christian society, so even those of us who aren't Christian are affected by Christian stories and values. We love redemption stories. Forgive problematic men? Heck, I've seen feminist communities give second and third chances to a guy who did WAY worse than Louis, because every time, he apologized and did a big heart-exposing chest-beating apologia that put everyone in a Christian forgiveness state of mind. Apologies will get you far. Louis's apology is pretty good -- I like that he acknowledges the power dynamics and systems that let him pretend he was doing less harm than he was. Given that there's a lot of evidence his manager did knowing career coercion/damage to these women, I do think the part about his manager is pretty weak tea. But still, it is a real, good apology! Great first step.
But what has he substantively done to redress the harm? Has he used some of his wealth to create opportunities for female comedians and creatives? Fired anybody who retaliated against the accusers? Anything? Not that I can see. He just laid low and then, when he thought the coast was clear, popped up without warning to do a set in front of women who didn't ask to see him and are, once again, socially constrained from screaming, yelling, and getting the fuck away.
I don't know how this should work, can work, will work, any more than anyone else. But I know that for abuses which don't rise to the level of the criminal, 'going to your room' for a few months or a year isn't sufficient. The women whose careers got set back by Louis and his manager's actions don't get to take a few months off, then walk into a world where it didn't happen, where their careers are advanced and they aren't beset with online trolls and their names aren't forever linked with this one time someone whipped his genitals out in front of them. He shouldn't get to do that either. He needs to live in the world where it happened. Which means doing something actively and transparently to make that world a little less crappy for women, because some of its crappiness is on him.