Jon Stewart Admits He "Could Have Done More" About Louis CK

Screengrab via TODAY  YouTube

Jon Stewart made awkward jokes a year ago when pressed about rumors that his friend and fellow comedian Louis C.K.'s acted inappropriately toward women. "So you feel anger at what you did to people", said Stewart, adding that comedy is not a great environment for women.

Stopped on the street by TMZ, Stewart said he agreed with HBO's decision and insisted that "not everyone in Hollywood is a scumbag".

"I've had friends who have compulsions and have done things, gambling, or drinking, or drugs, and some of them have died". I think it's gotten better over the years, but certainly when we started 30 years ago it was really hard and so to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself.

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.

Stewart was appearing on Today on Tuesday to promote his "Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs", a comedy special and fundraiser that was originally slated to include C.K.as a performer.

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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. He laughed off the question and answered, "So the Internet said Louis harassed women? You know who you're talking to, right?" he tells the audience member, who cited a Gawker article and a podcast by comedian Jen Kirkman. "I'm not that connected to that world". And as he kept going, I was, 'Look, I know this is very serious.

"You get mad at yourself to for laughing it off, for thinking, 'that didn't happen, '" he added later. 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.

Distributors in Scandinavia (Sweden's Nonstop Entertainment), France (ARP Selection) Israel (Shoval Film) and the Middle East (the Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment) have canceled plans to release Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy in their territories, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety and ScreenDaily report.

In another appearance on "The Today Show", Stewart opened up a bit more about what it means to be friends with a person and trust their character while he conceals indefensible behavior.