"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," NBC said in a statement received by The New York Times.
Macdonald had earlier come out with a statement of his own, via Twitter, apologizing for the comments he made about his "very good friends," and saying he never intended to minmize "the pain that their victims feel to this day." C.K. wrote the introduction to Macdonald's 2016 book, "Based on a True Story," while Barr gave him one of his earliest jobs as a writer on her eponymous sitcom.
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. If my words sounded like I was minimizing the pain that their victims feel to this day, I am deeply sorry.
In talking about the #MeToo movement in that same interview, Macdonald said he was glad to see its momentum slowing. "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."
He said that there is no forgiveness in the movement. "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."
And yet, Hardwick was cleared of any wrongdoing and reinstated to all of his jobs, including AMC's "Talking Dead" and NBC's "The Wall."
It was when he talked specifically about the two people he does know that he found himself most in hot water. "There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day," Macdonald said of C.K. and Barr. "Of course, people will go, 'What about the victims?' But you know what? The victims didn't have to go through that."
It was those final words that raised the ire of many people, as it seemed to minimize the experience and trauma of the victims to try and victimize their attackers. Neither Barr nor C.K. has responded to the initial interview or this cancellation.
Netflix did not respond to the Times' request for a response as to whether Macdonald's comments have jeopardized the debut of his show, set to premiere all episodes on Friday, Sep. 14 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below: