Jon Stewart was “stunned” to learn about the allegations against fellow comedian and good friend Louis C.K..
During his Today show interview on Tuesday, the former Daily Show host addressed the claims made by multiple women who say the Louie star masturbated in front of them — and looking back, Stewart thinks more could have been done to stop the stand up’s perverted “compulsions.”
Speaking to Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, the comedian explained:
“You know, you give your friends a benefit of the doubt. I’ve had friends who’ve had compulsions and who have done things — gambling or drinking or drugs — and we’ve lost some of them. Some of them have died. You always find yourself back to a moment of, ‘Did I miss something? Could I have done more?’ I think we all could have.”
The usually quippy 54-year-old was completely somber while speaking on how C.K.’s actions are just one example of how the world of comedy has never been a great environment for women. He continued:
“You feel anger at what [Louis] did to people. Look, comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women. I think it’s gotten better over the years, but certainly when we started 30 years ago, it was really difficult. So to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself [for women]. The idea that there was this added layer of pressure and manipulation, and fear and humiliation — and not just [him].”
So what now? Stewart admits that while it’s slowly getting better for women, the comedy world still has a long way to go to become an even playing field. The first step, he adds, is believing what these victims are saying:
“We’re used to being in charge. And I think if you talk to women, they’re in a very difficult position. You get mad at yourself, too, for laughing it off or for thinking, ‘That didn’t happen.'”
That does seem to be the go-to response for those who are friends with an alleged predator.
Stewart, on the other hand, seems ready to believe anything now that his stand up buddy’s actions have come to light. See what he had to say (below).