Now that comedian Louis C.K. has admitted to egregious sexual harassment, like pulling out his sex organ and masturbating in front of women, it might be worth remembering that this man has some powerful fans and promoters, starting with Jon Stewart, who called him “one of my all-time favorite comedians.”
Liberal sites from Slate to the Daily Beast are revisiting Stewart’s bumbling answers last year when asked during a live podcast with former Obama campaign manager Jim Axelrod about allegations against Louis C.K. [It starts at 1:13:55.]
Matt Wilstein at the Daily Beast summarized:
When the questioner noted that the interview came “after some of the rumors about Louis C.K.’s alleged harassment of female comedians,” Stewart stopped him, saying, “Whoa. Wait, what?” As the young man began to explain the situation as it had been reported in Gawker and elsewhere, Stewart let out a laugh and said, “Wait. I’m a little lost. So the internet said Louis harassed women.”
“You know who you’re talking to, right?” Stewart, who has never had a Twitter account, said when the questioner brought up tweets by women accusing C.K. “I didn’t see the tweets,” he said with a chuckle.
As actor James Urbaniak wrote when he shared the video on Twitter yesterday, “Quaint and enabling responses from a different time.”
“I apologize. I’m not that connected to that world,” Stewart added, turning more serious. “I don’t know what you’re talking about but—I can’t really answer. I don’t know what to say.”
“All I can tell you is I’ve worked with Louis for 30 years and he’s a wonderful man and person and I’ve never heard anything about this,” Stewart said before Axelrod ended the show. “We’ve all known Bill Cosby was a prick for a long time, so I don’t know what to tell you. But I didn’t know about the sexual assault, but you’re right, it’s important.”
Stewart put C.K. on his Daily Show many times. Wilstein’s colleague Marlow Stern tagged comedian Aziz Ansari for failing to answer questions about Louis C.K., a mentor of sorts, and underlined "a powerful army of celebrity enablers":
Over the years, I’ve asked a number of famous male comedians about the allegations against Louis C.K., which have been widely known since a 2012 Gawker story titled, “Which Beloved Comedian Likes to Force Female Comics to Watch Him Jerk Off?” They’ve all either declined to comment or, in the case of Jim Gaffigan, went off the record to share their thoughts on the matter. Only a handful of brave female comics were willing to shine a spotlight on C.K.’s alleged abuse, including Roseanne Barr and Tig Notaro in interviews with The Daily Beast.
The tentacles of Louis C.K., who stands accused of sexual misconduct by at least five women, spread throughout the comedy world. He worked as a staff writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Chris Rock Show. As head writer on The Dana Carvey Show, he was boss to comedians Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. He mentored the likes of Ansari and Amy Schumer, and counts Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Gervais as personal friends. Many of these A-listers in the C.K. orbit surely knew about the widespread sexual misconduct allegations against the comedian, but chose to turn a blind eye to it. Instead, they welcomed C.K. on their programs, like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, casually reminiscing about comedy days of old.
It's seriously embarrassing that the "progressives" in Hollywood still haven't learned the lessons of their own preachy movies and TV shows.