Norm MacDonald apologizes for defending Louis CK & Roseanne Barr

Embed from Getty Images

When I was debating whether or not to cover Norm MacDonald’s Hollywood Reporter interview, my thoughts boiled down to “but does anyone really care about Norm MacDonald at this point?” As it turns out, people did care, because Norm said some really stupid and awful things and now he’s apologizing. You can read the messy THR interview here, and trust me what I say it’s awful. Norm MacDonald is full of the worst takes, on everything from Me Too to Roseanne to Louis CK. You can read the full piece here, and here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

On the Me Too movement: “I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little 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.

On forgiveness: “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.

Louis CK & Roseanne Barr: “Well, Louis [C.K.] and Roseanne [Barr] are the two people I know. 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. 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.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I mean… the whole piece is like that. It’s like THR was trying to interview the guy with the worst thoughts on all of the hot-button issues of the day. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.” Yes, the victims of Louis CK just had to be pushed out of the industry and shunned because they dared to be victimized by a man who compulsively whipped it out and beat off. Their careers were affected for years, but hey, Louis CK is a millionaire who still does stand up at comedy clubs and the gets the New York Times to launch his soft-comeback. As for the stuff about Me Too… look, Norm MacDonald is trash. Let’s just move on.

Here’s Norm’s apology. Do yourself a favor and don’t read the comment replies.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

41 Responses to “Norm MacDonald apologizes for defending Louis CK & Roseanne Barr”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Izzy says:

    That apology is garbage. Mistakes?? CK didn’t make a mistake. He very deliberately committed sexual harassment and assault. Barr didn’t Tweet by accident. Racism is not a known side effect of the pharmaceuticals she ALLEGES she took.

    • Mia4s says:

      The apology was written by a publicist from Netflix basically. I doubt he even read it.

      Norm MacDonald has been garbage since he had a fit at the idea of having to do Weekend Update on SNL with a woman. Or when he said he hadn’t seen Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and proceeded to trash it anyway. He was, is, and likely will remain, garbage.

      • Muffynetf says:

        Netflix canceled Joel McHales show but instead we got Norm. I think the audience lost out. Joel is way funnier.

  2. Jess says:

    He is complete trash.

    • Susannah says:

      Yes he is! Who makes a Down Syndrome comment as part of your apology. He’s completely offensive and trash!

      Norm Macdonald said his comments had been misconstrued: “I am completely behind the #MeToo movement. You’d have to have Down Syndrome to not feel sorry for— #MeToo is what you want for your daughters and you want that to be the future world, of course”

  3. Lucy2 says:

    It’s amazing how many men like him are so threatened by #metoo. Wonder why…

    • BlueSky says:

      Me thinks he’s got some skeletons in his closet…. something you wanna tell us, Norm?
      Btw you were the least funny person on SNL.

    • ByTheSea says:

      I mean, seriously. They not only seem to hate the movement, they go out of their way to disparage anyone who speaks about her/his experience. It would be fascinating if it weren’t so scary. (The kneeling for the anthem thing is another one that has people losing their minds).

    • Erinn says:

      I got into it with one of my husbands friends this Saturday night over the Louis CK shit. The guy was going on about how he finds very few female comedians funny because they’re so vulgar and “vagina this vagina that” and my husband said “well, to be fair, it’s no different than women having to listen to all these dudes make d–k jokes”. And I piped up “and hey, at least these women aren’t whipping it out and harassing and assaulting guys they trap in a room” and he just went offfff. “i don’t give a sh-t, he makes me laugh and f-ck #metoo etc etc”. He apologized for going off about 4 minutes later, but I was sitting there seething with rage and shaking and I’m never going to look at him the same way.

      I refuse to associate with this guy. Husbands feeling crappy about the situation because it’s a guy he’s been really close friends with since he was about 5 or 6 years old. But he thankfully gets that that’s completely unacceptable. But it’s completely baffling to him that someone he knows so well just went off like that. Sadly, there’s a lot of really lame white dudes that idolize these guys, and whenever any of that is threatened they genuinely can’t handle it. It’s scary.

      • Missy says:

        It reAlly sucks when you realize people you like and have known forever have such shitty opinions. My spouses family are great people, but when the topic of pride parades or anything to do with being gay, I have to walk away. W live in a small town and the high school recently put in rainbow crosswalks and benches, and boy do they complain about it. They don’t seem to dislike gay people, but they can’t understand why there are pride parades and why people want the rainbow benches. It blows my mind that they don’t get how marginalized the gay community has been over the years, especially in these small towns. I don’t know how many times over heard “you don’t see me having a straight parade.” Ugh

      • Nicole(the Cdn one) says:

        @Missy – I am in the same situation. My in laws just can’t seem to recognize the difference between overt prejudice and and microaggressions (which are just as dangerous, if not more so). They don’t understand why it is not ok to say “but why do they need a parade?” After the upteenth microagressive comment, I just said “How about we let the community decide what they want or need and work on not marginalizing them further?” Dinner was pretty quiet after that . . .

        Fortunately my husband does not get defensive about these interactions, so we don’t bring the awkward home.

      • La says:

        @Missy, same. People in my extended family don’t seem to realize that their likes and comments on stupid Facebook memes show up in their friends’ feed and I am seeing a bunch of their ignorant hot takes about Kaep, LGBT rights, and Trump. It makes me sad because I love them dearly but knowing how they truly feel about things makes me think less of them.

      • Erinn says:

        Missy – exactly what we’re dealing with. It genuinely does suck – especially when tolerance is so obvious to me. With this friend – his apology did include “I honestly don’t think that women deserve to be treated that way, it’s obviously awful – but the older I get, the more I can separate the actor and the art” which, hell, at least that’s something better than f— #metoo. I think this guy might be able to be molded – but it just is so crappy of a situation. And I told him that that’s great that he can separate it, but there’s a reason it goes on for so long, and it’s largely because there’s no consequence. I did appreciate that he took the time to explain his outlook, which gives me a little bit of hope, but it didn’t just fix my opinion of him either. He went through a breakup of an almost decade long relationship in the last like 3 weeks, and I think he’s still kind of emotionally cut up over it – so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on that outburst.

        We’re also in a small town – and it’s a huge issue because it’s so insulated. My husband grew up quite hillbilly-like and pretty religious. He’s only really started to see how much of a difference there is for women just doing normal day to day activities in the last couple years. He always knew there were sexist jerks out there, but he didn’t realize the extent of it because he’s a genuinely good guy and he assumed it was more or less isolated events. But he’s at the point now where he’s fuming over Serena William’s treatment, over people like Louis CK and all these other creeps. It clicked for him – and while he still doesn’t always pick up on the intricacies of it, he’s trying to. He’s a good one. And I’ve made it really clear that if he’s going to be spending time with dudes like this, that he needs to at the very least gently re-direct/explain things to them when the occasion presents its self, and step in when needed if he seems some woman getting skeezed out or whatever. But we’ve all had a huge awakening when it comes to friends and families over the last few years, and it really is a shame. And I don’t think the majority are saying things out of ACTUAL hate – but ignorance and being self-centered. But I’ve definitely started thinking a lot differently about a LOT of people.

  4. paranormalgirl says:

    The victims didn’t lose everything? REALLY? The victims lost everything in a second, because of the acts of another person. Gawd, shut up, Norm McDonald.

    • Esmom says:

      When I read that I felt like he HAD to be trolling. I just can’t believe he said that in earnest. But then again that’s something our POTUS would say, so f^&k him.

      Also at first glance I thought the photo was of Morrissey. Yikes.

    • Stumpycorgi says:

      Yes. Thank you for saying that! “There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day.” Anyone who says that sexual assault survivors don’t lose EVERYTHING is a piece of garbage. I’m not saying that survivors can’t go on to have fulfilled, successful, happy lives. But speaking as a survivor myself, I can testify that indeed, I lost EVERYTHING. Not just my career (which, in the aftermath of ONE assualt), I was too broken to handle, and everything that entails, but also the very foundation of my being, the sense of my own spiritual and physical autonomy. That was shattered and I don’t know if I will ever come back from that (again, not saying that fellow survivors can’t, but I personally have not). Comparing that type of loss to a wealthy, privileged white person’s rightful loss of ONE PROFITABLE PROJECT and the ability to effectively hide their truth (that they are hateful, greedy, vampires) makes me blow my lid. Try living with MY truth, Norm, Louis, Roseanne, et. al. See how much you cry then.

  5. grabbyhands says:

    “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.“

    Except that is literally what you did, on both counts.


  6. Jenns says:

    That interview went exactly as expected. Can’t say I expected much more from Norm MacDonald. I’m actually surprised he apologized.

  7. KNy says:

    Why is anyone paying attention to Norm Macdonald?

  8. Moe says:

    I think if somebody makes a mistake then asks for forgiveness and gets it is reasonable. The problem is a lot of these people – Roseanne Barr and Louis CK uncluded – did not make one mistake . they kept making the same mistake over and over and over again until they got caught. That’s where I think the difference is. They’re not sorry they did it there sorry they got caught after doing it a lot. it’s like someone who is drunk and gropes a woman at a party and it’s really out of character and it only happens the one time or whatever he might be able to ask forgiveness. that person is really sorry even before they get caught. How did people feel about that?

  9. Enormous Coat says:

    Again, people like Norm McDonald don’t seem to grasp the concept of consequences. And what C.K. did was criminal. But, true to their awful forms, the only people worthy of compassion and forgiveness (the fact that they should even have to seek forgiveness in the first place shocks them) are people like themselves. You wonder how they view others – it can’t be as full humans like themselves. And really Roseann, stfu. She’s such a miserable little crybaby. Accept responsibility, apologize in earnest and friggin do better.

    • jwoolman says:

      Norm actually knows Louis and Roseanne personally and so he knows in detail how they reacted and how it affected them. He doesn’t consciously know people who have affected by actions such as Louis’s.

      I’m sure he does know people with such experiences but they just haven’t told him about it, because they learned a long time ago to avoid telling men anything because they won’t believe it and will trivialize it, too far away from their own experience. That’s the great thing about #MeToo, it’s brought things out in the open.

      Norm’s comments can be used as a starter for discussion both with him and others. I think he meant what he said and he has a point about the need to have some avenue for forgiveness. We really shouldn’t automatically assume that discussion is impossible and retribution must be swift and unyielding. We don’t do that for other things.

      Some people are too damaged to reliably change, but that doesn’t mean they all are like that. Roseanne is hopeless due to her many disorders that get in the way, hitting her in the pocketbook might at least get her to think before she says stupid things but I wouldn’t bet on it. (Her idol Trump is the same way on a massive scale. He won’t change, he needs to be contained.) Louis seems kind of clueless and he had such a long history of this grotesque behavior – he might be convinced to not do it only because of the consequences, but he has some deep problems he needs to work on with therapists before he’s safe to be unsupervised and he may never reach that level.

      Norm might be approachable, so I wouldn’t write him off because of his comments. He may be educable.

  10. Moe says:

    Also some like someone like CK used his power in his industry to grope women in his industry. He didn’t just group random women at a party who didn’t give a s*** who he was. He groped women that he knew would never say anything because he had so much power in comedy. It’s not just about the mistake of groping. The misuse of power to get off

  11. Mel says:

    OMG It’s been almost two years now?!
    What have the f….ng publicists been doing?!
    Just say “no comment”, “It’s awful”, “I’m with the victims” and next question.
    Nobody is asking you to delve into the philosophical and moral aspect of the dialogue, especially if you are not equipped.
    We are talking about individuals who have set up an entire system spanning several years so, no, it’s no accident!
    I forgive you for eating the last piece of chocolate cake. Not for abusing your power repeatedly and making other people’s lives hell and jeopardizing their livelihood just because your name is top billing!

  12. Ramona Q. says:

    People need to stop putting “if” in their apology statements.

  13. CharliePenn says:

    Ughhhhh. He could always make me laugh so hard. Anybody remember when he played “Bob Dole in the Real World MTV house” on an SNL skit? It was the most hilarious thing… I’m dating myself here.
    But I’ll never enjoy anything he did again and that’s ok. Because it turns out he’s an extremely shitty person. Who even thinks like this?! Total shit head.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    I drug him on Twitter for DNA material…and when I read that response…I went back and drug him again…I’ma need Netflix to SERIOUSLY vet the people they’re passing money out to for shows…because there is NO WAY that Norm should have gotten a bloody DIME to be on that channel ESPECIALLY at this time….and ESPECIALLY with all of the wonderful comics out there who would have done magnificently well, without being a canker sore on humanity like Norm…

  15. A says:

    I’m sorry–who is Norm McDonald again?

  16. Betsy says:

    He dragged Nanette without seeing it? Her set was depressing AF – and marvelous. Just so absolutely raw.

    What does Norm have? “Uh huh?” Go on, Norm. Shut up.

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    “The victims didn’t have to go through that.”

    Wtf? Is he simple or touched or something? No. They weren’t publicly ousted and held to account. They were manipulated. Harrassed. Adulterated. Depreciated. Abused. Violated. Raped. Ostracized. Disparaged. I could literally go on all day.

  18. SJhere says:

    I don’t know how Norm McDonalds mind works.
    I’m guessing he feels like he owes Roseanne because she basically got his career started.
    No idea why he is defending Louis CK.
    Norm has become an old white man who refuses to open his mind and accept that all people have rights. I’ve always felt Norm has some deep oddness in his character. Maybe just did too many drugs back in the day.
    Really tho, keep quiet Norm.
    SNL has turned out lots of people who really peaked on SNL, one trick ponies.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ma need Norm to take a page from Joe Piscopo’s book (who…turns out to be a pretty darn good actor from seeing him on L&O) and go sit down somewhere and put pie in that hole…

  19. Fluffy Princess says:

    GAAAAAH! Another one. Another apologist for the poor, poor perps!
    It’s just so mind boggling and frustrating how people, just REFUSE to get it.

    It’s like the Kaepernick thing where it’s literally been explained 1000 times, but yet, people are still burning their NIKE shizz and we have mayors and principals saying Kaepernick is a thug and a criminal and blah blah blah.

    Honestly, I’m not a violent person, but it’s people like this that I just want to punch in the face repeatedly until I knock some sense into them. 😐

  20. Renee says:

    So Norm MacDonald thinks sexual assaults are “mistakes”? Huh? Norm thinks because Roseanne cried a lot, that changes things. Huh? Norm, you’re cancelled now too.

  21. Natalie S says:

    They always identify with the aggressor and not the victim. All they care about is their money and people who may provide them with access to money.

  22. Jared says:

    I’m super disappointed in Norm. He is probably my favourite comedian. I’m all for people speaking their mind and stuff and he’s always marched to the beat of his own drum, which I’ve actually respected him for in the past, but c’mon Norm, give your head a shake.

  23. Alyssa Calloway says:

    He also said in an interview with Howard Stern that he supported #MeToo and that anyone who didn’t had to have Down syndrome. When we really know he just wanted to say “retarded.” But, just narrowing it down to a specific mental disability doesn’t make it ok.

    Besides, people with Down syndrome know better than that. Show more class and empathy/compassion than Norm will ever have.

    So, that was a charming anecdote too.

  24. Henny says:

    What an idiot.