Norm Macdonald stopped by Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show on Wednesday to clarify his controversial comments about the #MeToo movement and explain how he came to be dropped from an appearance on “The Tonight Show” earlier this week.
Macdonald, who’s promoting his upcoming Netflix talk show, explained that he wasn’t trying to defend the accused men when he said that he’s “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit.”
“I never defended them. I am completely behind the #MeToo movement,” the “Saturday Night Live” alum told Stern on Wednesday. “You’d have to have Down Syndrome to not feel sorry for– of course, #MeToo is what you want for your daughters. And you want that to be the future world.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, Macdonald suggested that there should be a path to redemption for disgraced stars like Louis C.K. or Roseanne Barr: “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.”
He continued, “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.”
The comments were met with intense backlash on social media, leading to his appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” being canceled just moments before it was scheduled to begin.
“[Fallon] was very broken up about it. And he said ‘I don’t know what to do. And I said ‘Should I not do the show?'” Macdonald told Stern. The comedian said Fallon told him he was getting “pressure from so many people” and senior producers were crying over Macdonald’s appearance.
Ultimately, Fallon told him that doing the segment so soon after the comments were published would “hurt the show,” Macdonald said. “And I said, ‘Jimmy I don’t want to hurt your show. That is the last thing I want to do.'”
Macdonald has since apologized for the comments in a tweet.
“Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years. They both made terrible mistakes and I would never defend their actions,” he wrote. “If my words sounded like I was minimizing the pain that their victims feel to this day, I am deeply sorry.”
“I wish I never had to do an interview, especially a print interview because they edit it and put it together and ask you questions that maybe you don’t want to answer,” he told Stern. “They put things together that you’re saying — and I’m a f—ing dumb guy, I get confused.”