Matt Lauer dutifully asked Stewart for a comment on last week's allegations of sexual misconduct that Louis C.K. sexually harassed women by masturbating in front of them behind closed doors, allegations that C.K.
Stewart then addressed his appearance on David Axelrod's podcast previous year, in which he brushed aside an audience member's question about C.K.'s then-rumored misconduct. You always find yourself back to a moment of, did I miss something? Could I have done more?' In this situation, I think we all could've.
"So you feel anger at what he did to people", Stewart said.
Stewart went on to say that "comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women" and even though it's gotten better in recent years, it is still a tough field for women.
"I think it's a question of we're used to being in charge and I think if you talk to women, they're in a very hard position and you get mad at yourself too for laughing it off and thinking it didn't happen", he said. So to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself.
"You get mad at yourself to for laughing it off, for thinking, 'that didn't happen, '" he added later. 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.
Stewart appeared in a podcast a year ago with political analyst David Axelrod, in which the former late night host sidestepped questions about rumors over Louis C.K.'s inappropriate behavior by cracking awkward jokes and saying, "I've never heard anything about this". I don't know what you're talking about. "I'm not that connected to that world". "I don't know what you're talking about, I don't know what to say".
Tuesday morning, Stewart gave an explanation for his response.
"I try to think of it in terms of, I've had friends who have had compulsions and have done things, gambling or drinking and drugs, and we've lost some of them, some of them have died", Stewart said.
Stewart reiterated what he said at the time, which is that he "hadn't heard, at that point, of any of it". Another comedian and long-time friend of the C.K., Marc Maron, addressed the ongoing scandal on Monday's episode of WTF with Marc Maron, so now it was Stewart's turn.
His upcoming film, I Love You, Daddy, which premiered and sold at TIFF in September, has been shelved.
She continued, "Louis C.K.'s life is so much a part of his movies and it's very personal, so you can not separate the work from the artist".