Norm Macdonald issues an apology for 'minimizing the pain' of Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K. victims

Norm Macdonald is getting skewered for his victim-shaming interview with the Hollywood Reporter. While promoting his upcoming Netflix talk show, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, the Canadian standup comedian managed to offend a lot of people — while defending friends Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K.

He clarified his comments in an apologetic post on Tuesday night.

When the interview was published earlier in the day, Macdonald upset some by appearing to sympathize more with his friends than their victims.

“I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit,” he said while discussing the “lunacy” of both liberals and conservatives. “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.”

Roseanne Barr, Norm Macdonald, and Louis C.K. (Photos: Getty Images)

Hardwick was accused of sexual and emotional abuse by a former girlfriend, but the allegations didn’t end his career. AMC suspended and then reinstated the television personality as the host of their aftershows for both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

“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,” explained Macdonald. “And so the only way to survive is to deny, deny, deny. That’s not healthy — that there is no forgiveness.”

The 58-year-old comedian added, “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.”

When asked who specifically he was referencing, Macdonald replied, “Well, Louis [C.K.] and Roseanne [Barr] are the two people I know.”

Louis C.K. saw his career suspended for nine months after admitting to sexual misconduct, but after a brief time out, he returned to the stage and was met with (mostly) open arms. As for Barr — who gave Macdonald his first break in Hollywood writing for the original Roseanne — she was promptly fired by ABC after sending a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.

“Roseanne was so broken up [after her show’s reboot was cancelled] that I got Louis to call her, even though Roseanne was very hard on Louis before that,” Macdonald told THR. “But she was just so broken and just crying constantly. 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.”

Macdonald said Barr and Louis C.K. told him they had “a good conversation” and “were just giving any advice you could give to each other.” He added, “There would be no way for me to even understand that advice, because who has ever gone through such a thing? All their work in their entire life being wiped out in a single day, a moment.”

For the record, Macdonald, who also wrote for the Roseanne reboot, doesn’t think his friend is a racist.

“I always knew her as a very left-wing person,” he maintained. “On the original show, she had [a network sitcom’s] first gay couple. She would always want more minorities on the show, on the writing staff. When she did this [reboot,] it was all her idea to get all these different orientations and religions and so forth represented. So that’s how I always knew her.”

As for Barr’s history of questionable tweets, he said, “I had looked on her Twitter feed once in a while. I really couldn’t understand her because I am not that worldly in politics. Her feed was so arcane about these Middle East politics. 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. 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.”

Twitter did not appreciate Macdonald’s comments, as you can tell from a sampling below.


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