‘The Tonight Show’ cancels Norm Macdonald’s appearance after controversial #MeToo comments

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Eileen Rivers, USA TODAY Opinion

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” pulled the plug on Norm Macdonald’s appearance following the comedian’s controversial remarks on the #MeToo movement. 

“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,” a spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, Macdonald, 58, admitted he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit.”

He continued: “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.”

Related: Stephen Colbert calls out former boss Les Moonves, again, on CBS ‘Late Show’

Macdonald told THR that derailing the life’s work of a celebrity who admits to any wrongdoing “isn’t healthy,” referring to close friends Louis C.K. (who was accused by five women of sexual misconduct) and Roseanne Barr (whose namesake TV series reboot was abruptly canceled following her racist tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett).

“(Barr) 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,” Macdonald said. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”

The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member added that Barr, who hired him as a writer on the original “Roseanne,” is “certainly not a racist.”

After facing backlash, Macdonald took to Twitter to apologize for “minimizing the pain” of sexual harassment and racial bullying victims. 

“Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years,” he tweeted Tuesday. “They both made terrible mistakes and I would never defend their actions.”

More: Louis C.K.’s comeback performance sparks criticism from fellow comics

Macdonald’s new interview series, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show,” is launching on Netflix Sept. 14, but only time will tell if the the comedian faces further blowback from his comments. 

One Twitter user said: “‘Norm McDonald Has A Show.’ After saying that the victims didn’t feel as bad or lose everything like CK did, the title should be changed to ‘Norm McDonald Doesn’t Have A Show For Much Longer.’

More: Are #MeToo men ready for a comeback? Not all accused figures have slunk away in shame

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