Comedian Norm MacDonald has spoken out about his concerns with the #MeToo era, and revealed that he convinced friend Louis CK to call Roseanne Barr to commiserate after her show was cancelled.
‘I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit,’ MacDonald told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview to promote his new talk show premiering Friday on Netflix.
MacDonald, 58, said he believed that the movement to expose sexual misconduct in the workplace had gone off the rails in the year since the bombshell allegations against Harvey Weinstein inaugurated the #MeToo era.
‘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,” MacDonald said.
‘And then you’re like, ‘What?’ Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there,’ he continued.
Hardwick, the host of AMC’s The Talking Dead, was investigated by the network after his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra raised abuse allegations in a blog post, but was ultimately re-instated to the show after she refused to participate in the probe.
MacDonald commented that while in the past, admitting wrongdoing and showing contrition could allow a celebrity to move past some kinds of misconduct – but said that now, admitting wrongdoing is a career ender.
‘That’s not healthy — that there is no forgiveness,’ he said, remarking that he had seen the impact on two friends, Barr and CK.
CK was shamed last November by the revelation that he had repeatedly masturbated in front of female comics, allegations he admitted to saying he had always asked permission before displaying his member.
Barr’s fall from grace came in May, when she tweeted that Valerie Jarrett, a close advisor to Barack Obama who is black, was like ‘Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes has a baby’.
Barr apologized profusely, and claimed she thought the light-skinned Jarrett was white. But ABC quickly cancelled the wildly successful reboot of her eponymous sitcom.
‘And Roseanne was so broken up that I got Louis to call her, even though Roseanne was very hard on Louis before that,’ said MacDonald, referring to the fact that Barr had publicly floated rumors of CK’s masturbatory behavior long before it became public knowledge.
‘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.
MacDonald, who wrote for the original run of Barr’s sitcom, said he didn’t believe she was a racist at all, and that her opposition to Obama centered around her support for Israel.
After the interview was published, MacDonald was forced to apologize on Twitter when he came under attack for allegedly disrespecting the victims of Barr and CK’s actions.
‘Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years,’ MacDonald wrote.
‘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.’