Norm Macdonald was supposed to appear on the “Tonight Show” Tuesday night, but NBC canceled his appearance after the comedian criticized the #MeToo movement in an interview.
Macdonald has a new Netflix show premiering Friday called “Norm Macdonald Has A Show,” and was set to discuss his latest project with Jimmy Fallon, but after the former “Saturday Night Live” star’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter was published, the network canceled, citing “sensitivity to our audience.”
In an interview in which Macdonald seemed to criticize and awkwardly defend everything he was asked about (he talked about how the Constitution was designed to survive President Donald Trump, but also said the world was not as bad as he feared it would be with Trump as president), one segment stuck out. It appears as though once a hashtag is deemed saintly, any criticism becomes unacceptable. “Superman” and “Mission Impossible” star Henry Cavill found this out the hard way just a month ago.
Now it’s Macdonald’s turn. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a 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.’ And then you're like, ‘What?’ Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there,” Macdonald said.
Naturally, this quote was left out of most media accounts of Macdonald’s cancelled appearance.
Macdonald was then asked about an accused person admitting to wrongdoing, to which the comedian responded, “The model used to be: admit wrongdoing, show complete contrition and then we give you a second chance. Now it's admit wrongdoing and you're finished. And so the only way to survive is to deny, deny, deny. That's not healthy — that there is no forgiveness. I do think that at some point it will end with a completely innocent person of prominence sticking a gun in his head and ending it. That's my guess. I know a couple of people this has happened to.”
This, too, is left out of other media accounts of the interview. These are both sensible criticisms, but left-leaning media outlets need to defend #MeToo, so nuanced criticism is not allowed.
Macdonald was then asked who he knows that has been taken down due to #MeToo. He said Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr.
“And Roseanne was so broken up [after her show's reboot was canceled] that I got Louis to call her, even though Roseanne was very hard on Louis before that. But she was just so broken and just crying constantly,” Macdonald said. “There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day. Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn't have to go through that.”
This is the quote being shared in media posts. Following this, Macdonald reiterated how both comedians saw “All their work in their entire life wiped out in a single day, a moment.” He also said Barr was “a very left-wing person” who always wanted more minority representation on her shows. He also said it was “crazy” to call her a racist.
The tweet that ended Barr’s career was one in which she put up a picture of President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and a photo of a female ape from “Planet of the Apes.” Barr would later say she didn’t know Jarrett was black and that her tweet was about the perceived anti-Semitism of the Obama administration, which she believed was evident in the Iran deal.
Macdonald seemed to back up this version, as he told the Hollywood Reporter that Barr was left-wing about everything except Israel.
“What I do know is that she is a single-issue motivated person. And that issue is Israel. That's all she cares about politically,” Macdonald said. “She is left wing in everything else. But that is why she did not like the Obama administration, because they snubbed Netanyahu. I believe that is the only reason that she voted Trump. She is certainly not a racist. That's just crazy.”
Macdonald didn’t say anything else about Louis C.K.
For this tepid criticism of #MeToo and defense of his friends, Macdonald had his “Tonight Show” appearance canceled.
“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. The New York Times then called Netflix to see if it would cancel Macdonald’s show based on this interview.
Macdonald tweeted an apology for the interview after the cancellation, saying he did not mean to minimize the pain of victims.