The former “Daily Show” host spoke with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie about his reaction to the C.K. exposé. “You give your friends the benefit of the doubt,” Stewart said. “I try to think of it in terms of, I’ve had friends who have compulsions and have done things — gambling, drinking, or drugs. And we lost some of them. Some of them have died. And you find yourself at a moment of, ‘Did I miss something? Could I have done more?’ In this situation, we all could have. So you feel anger at what he did to people.”
Last week, C.K. admitted to committing sexual harassment against five women who shared their stories regarding the powerful comedian in a New York Times investigative piece. When Lauer asked whether he had talked to C.K. since the news broke, Stewart said no, he has not.
He also discussed a video of David Axelrod’s podcast, the Axe Files, from May 2016 in which he answered a question from a student in the audience about C.K.’s alleged sexual harassment of women. In the video (below), which has recently been recirculating around social media, Stewart laughed off the question and responded, “So the internet said Louis harassed women? You know who you’re talking to, right?” He continued, “I didn’t see the tweets. Honestly, I’m not that connected to that world. I don’t know what you’re talking about… All I can tell you is I’ve worked with Louis for 30 years, he’s a wonderful person, and I’ve never heard anything about this, and we all knew Bill Cosby was a prick for a long time.”
Addressing the video, Stewart said on the “Today” show that his initial response to the student’s question in May 2016 was, “‘What?’ And then, joke, joke, and as [the student] kept going, I was like, ‘Look, I know this is very serious, but I know Louis, he’s always been a gentleman to me,’ which, again, speaks to the blindness that I think a man has.”