Norm MacDonald has drawn criticism for saying that Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr deserve a another chance in an interview that led to a cancelled Tonight Show appearance and an apology.
“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” Macdonald told The Hollywood Reporter, referencing C.K. and Barr. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.” In May, ABC canceled Roseanne after the show titular star Barr came under fire for racist comments against Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser for Barack Obama. And in 2017, C.K. admitted to sexual misconduct after five women came forward to accuse him C.K.
In the interview about his new Netflix special, Norm MacDonald Has a Show, MacDonald also bemoaned the current wave of topical comedy, saying he insisted that his show would feature “nothing topical.”
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“I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit. 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,'” he said. “And then you’re like, ‘What?’”
His comments drew swift criticism online.
Just 10 hours after the interview was published, MacDonald said on Twitter that he was “deeply sorry.”
“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,” the tweet read.
MacDonald was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night, but the late night show cancelled his appearance.
“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,” an NBC statement to Variety said.
Netflix did not immediately return a request for comment.