Friday, 17 November, 2017

Flashback: When Jon Stewart Laughed Off Lewis CK Sexual Misconduct Claims

Awkward viewing: Jon Stewart and David Axelrod's handling of question about Louis CK in 2016 Louis CK scandal: Jon Stewart is 'stunned'; more distributors dump 'I Love You, Daddy'
Freda Brock | 15 November, 2017, 00:55

Jon Stewart says that while the sexual harassment allegations against pal Louis C.K. Louis C.K. later confirmed the reporting, saying in a statement, "These stories are true...."

"Look, comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women", Stewart admitted. "As he kept going, I was like, 'look, I know this is very serious, he's always been a gentleman to me" - which speaks again to the blindness that I think a man has. Stewart, who was joined by the benefit's creator Michelle Smigel, had been quiet about the Louis scandal, but many were waiting to a response from him.

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".

Stewart, 54, also said he was angry with himself for brushing off and defending rumours about C.K.'s bad behaviour when they were brought to his attention directly.

"Have you talked to Louis C.K.?" I'm not that connected to that world.

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The Daily Show alum opened up about C.K.'s fall from grace on the Today show Monday, and said that for years, he'd given his friend the benefit of the doubt despite having heard rumours about his habit of masturbating in front of female colleagues. Stewart said as the crowd laughed, later claiming, "I don't know what you're talking about but I can't really answer". "I didn't see the tweets". "Digging around in it and finding that some people had done, it was hard, but we were all assured like, no, but we took somebody's word for it, and maybe that's an error on our part".

Describing the issue of misconduct towards women as "endemic, systemic" and a "complex problem", Stewart expressed regret at not speaking out about the rumours.

John Oliver kicked off the fourth season finale of his talk show Last Week Tonight with a "lightning recap of the week", which included a jab at Louis C.K, the latest in a string of men in Hollywood to be accused of sexual misconduct. "I hadn't heard, at that point, at any of it", Stewart remembered.

Recalling the incident during his Today interview, Stewart said, "My first reaction was, What?!?" It's a predicament for them. "The power I had over these women is that they admired me", he added.

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