Told that the allegations had previously been reported by Gawker and that the comedian Jen Kirkman had discussed allegations against an unnamed comedian widely understood to be C.K. on her podcast, Stewart said, "I apologize". Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov said C.K. did masturbate in front of them in his hotel room in Aspen, Colorado during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. When asked by Lauer about his reaction to the allegations, Stewart said he was "stunned" to find out what his friend had done. I tried to think about it in terms of, I've had friends who have had compulsions and have done things: gambling or drinking or drugs.
Describing the issue of misconduct towards women as "endemic, systemic" and a "complex problem", Stewart expressed regret at not speaking out about the rumours.
"Knowing what I know now, of course I would have probed Stewart more deeply", he wrote. Asked whether he thought Louis C.K. could ever revive his career - the questioner argued C.K.'s actions were "different" from Harvey Weinstein's, for example - Stewart replied that it's really not the concern right now. Look, comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women.
Comedian/director Jon Stewart (C) listens during at an event to urge U.S. lawmakers to re-authorize the Zadroga Bill at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 16, 2015.
"You feel anger at what [Louis] did to people".
He also said that he realizes that saying C.K. had always been a gentleman to him may not have been the best response, saying that, "again I think speaks to the blindness that a man has, which is like, hey he's a good guy, what are you talking about". "What are you talking about?'" "But we took somebody's word for it and maybe that's an error on our part".
The former Daily Show host went on to reveal that he had first heard of the allegations facing CK in May 2016 but had been "assured" that they were not true. I'm not that connected to that world.
"My first response was, what?" he said.
"I think it's gotten better over the years", Stewart said, "but certainly when we started 30 years ago, it was really hard, and so to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself". I don't want to make this "Louis was the only one of in the business".
Stewart said he hasn't spoke with Louis C.K. since the New York Times bombshell report broke last Thursday.
Stewart co-hosts the annual charity benefit "Night of Too Many Stars" on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.