The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon canceled comedian Norm Macdonald’s appearance Tuesday night after he made disparaging comments about the #MeToo movement, minimized the pain of victims of sexual abuse and harassment, and sympathized with celebrities Louis C.K., Chris Hardwick and Roseanne who he said “lost everything in a day” for their misconduct.
In a statement, The Tonight Show said it decided to drop Macdonald from Tuesday’s show “out of sensitivity to our audience,” following an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. During that interview, Macdonald said that he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a bit,” and that he felt Chris Hardwick “got the brunt end of the stick there.”
Hardwick, an entertainer and host of Talking Dead, was pulled from his post with AMC among other gigs after his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, published an essay alleging that he was emotionally and sexually abusive to her. Six weeks later, however, AMC resigned him.
Macdonald also criticized the backlash that hit Roseanne Barr after she likened Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape in a tweet. Hours later, Roseanne was fired and her sitcom canceled. Macdonald also expressed sympathy with comedian Louis C.K., who went into hiding after five women accused him of inappropriate behavior, including taking them into private rooms and asking if he could masturbate in front of them.
“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in one day,” Macdonald told the Hollywood Reporter. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ Buy you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”
Macdonald tweeted an apology hours later, saying “If my words sounded like I was minimizing the pain that their victims feel to this day, I am deeply sorry.” It was, however, not enough to prevent The Tonight Show from axing him from its Tuesday lineup.