Norm Macdonald feels for his problematic friends.
During the promotional run for his new Netflix series, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, the 58-year-old comedian sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss a wide range of controversial topics, including the downfall of his pals Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr.
Macdonald defended his fellow comedians by suggesting society no longer believes in forgiveness and is way too harsh on celebrities who’ve admitted to wrongdoings. Just as quick refresher: The “wrongdoings” committed by Barr and C.K. are posting racist tweets and committing sexual misconduct.
“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,” he told THR. “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.”
Macdonald went on to say that he encouraged Louis to call Barr shortly after her eponymous TV series was canceled. As many of you know, the Roseanne reboot was canned by ABC after Barr likened former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to a Planet of the Apes character. Macdonald claimed Barr “was so broken up” by the controversy and that no one really seemed to car about her pain.
“There are very few people that have gone through what [Barr and Louis] have, losing everything in a day,” he told THR. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn't have to go through that.”
“I'm happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit,” he said. “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.”
The messy interview also touches on the evolution of comedy, Macdonald’s opinion on Colin Jost and Michael Che, as well as Jimmy Fallon’s controversial interview with Donald Trump.
Shortly after the interview was published, Macdonald took to Twitter to apologize.
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
Then, after Macdonald issued the apology, The Tonight Show canceled the comedian's upcoming appearance on the show. “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, per Variety.
You can check out reactions to the Q&A below.