Jon Stewart reveals his thoughts on the Louis C.K. scandal

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 02:16:33 AM. The former late-night host said he was 'stunned' by C.K.'s misconduct.

Jon Stewart said on the Today show Tuesday that he was “stunned” by comedian Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct, and that the comedy world has a long way to go toward becoming a more welcoming place for women.

The former host of The Daily Show stopped by the Today show to discuss his upcoming charitable concert, “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs.” C.K. was originally scheduled to appear at the event, but HBO, which is broadcasting the concert as a special, severed ties with him.

Stewart said that he first heard about C.K.’s then-alleged behavior about a year ago, when taping a live episode of a podcast hosted by David Axelrod, former chief campaign strategist for former President Barack Obama. When an audience member asked Stewart whether the then-unconfirmed rumors about C.K. had crossed his radar, Stewart responded in an offhanded way, first with jokes and then with reassurances of C.K.’s good nature.

“As he kept going, I was like, ‘Look, I know this is very serious, but I know Louis, he’s always been a gentleman to me,'” Stewart said on the Today show, “which again, it speaks to the blindness that a man has, which is like, ‘Hey, he’s a good guy, what are you talking about?'”

Stewart, who said he has not spoken to C.K. recently, said that comedy has never been a “great environment for women.”

“I think it’s gotten better over the years,” Stewart said, “but certainly when we started 30 years ago, it was really difficult, and so to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself. The idea that there was this added layer of pressure and manipulation and fear and humiliation…”

Stewart said he counted himself among those who hasn’t had the “urgency” to address the issue in our culture.

“It’s another one of those endemic, systemic, complex problems that we all haven’t had the urgency for, certainly myself included.” Stewart said. “I hope it changes.”

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