Norm Macdonald’s appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was hastily canceled Tuesday after the comedian stirred controversy with remarks about the #MeToo movement and the treatment of Louis C.K., Chris Hardwick and Roseanne in recent scandals.
“Out of sensitivity to our audience and in light of Norm Macdonald’s comments in the press today, ‘The Tonight Show’ has decided to cancel his appearance on Tuesday’s telecast,” NBC said in a statement. “Tonight Show’s” decision to drop Macdonald came even after he apologized for his comments later in the day.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Macdonald said he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit.” He further opined: “It used to be, ‘One hundred women can’t be lying.’ And then it became, ‘One woman can’t lie.’ And that became, ‘I believe all women.’ And then you’re like, ‘What?’ Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.”
He also stated that he felt Roseanne Barr was treated harshly in the storm that ensued after she likened Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape in an early morning tweet in May. Barr was fired and her “Roseanne” sitcom revival was canceled within hours (it was ultimately revived as “The Conners” without Barr’s involvement).
Macdonald, who got his start as a writer working on Barr’s original ABC series, described Barr’s and Louis C.K.’s struggle (C.K. lost his deal with FX, among other projects, after revelations of his sexual misconduct).
“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” Macdonald said. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”
Macdonald later apologized for “minimizing the pain” of victims of sexual abuse and harassment with his comments.
Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years. They both made terrible mistakes and I would never defend their actions. If my words sounded like I was minimizing the pain that their victims feel to this day, I am deeply sorry.
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 11, 2018
The comedian is set to launch a new interview series, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show,” Sept. 14 on Netflix, with 10 roughly half-hour installments dropping at once.