Norm Macdonald’s publicity tour has turned into an apology tour.
The stand-up comedian, doing press for his upcoming Netflix program, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show,” launched a new wave of controversy today over comments about the #MeToo movement by claiming that “you’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry for” harassment victims.
Appearing on “The Howard Stern Show,” Macdonald tried to deflect from a Hollywood Reporter interview in which he said that he’s glad the #MeToo movement has “slowed down” and took the time to defend scandal-scarred comedians Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr.
“I’m a f — king dumb guy,” he told Stern. “I get confused a lot and s — t.”
Macdonald tried to excuse his comments by saying he hates interviews because “they ask you questions that maybe you don’t want to answer.”
He also continued trying to explain away his defense of people accused of sexual misconduct.
“You’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry for (victims),” he said. “#MeToo is what you want for your daughters and you want that to be the future world, of course. And I meet all kinds of women with terrible stories of what’s happened to them. So, I wasn’t talking about the victims.”
Following the interview with Stern, USA Today published its own interview with Macdonald in which he reiterated that he wants to see Barr — whose ABC sitcom was canceled after she called former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett “the baby of the Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes” — return to work and argued that comedians accused of misconduct should go back to the stage and wait for the audience to react.
For women who said they were uncomfortable with a surprise comedy set at the Comedy Cellar by C.K., who admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent, Macdonald had an easy solution: pay them enough and they won’t be uncomfortable anymore.
“I wasn’t there, but everything I heard about it was that he did very well. But if some women were upset, the Comedy Cellar should give them their money back and $200 each,” he said.
“I think they could get through the trauma if they were paid $200 and could buy some nice shoes.”
Macdonald claimed in the Hollywood Reporter interview that he helped connect Roseanne and C.K. as controversies engulfed their successful careers.
“Roseanne was so broken up (after her sitcom ‘Roseanne’ 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,” he said. “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’s scheduled appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” was scrapped Tuesday — and after hours of backlash, Macdonald attempted to walk back his comments.
“Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years,” he tweeted. “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.”
Macdonald will still visit “The View” Thursday, an ABC spokesperson confirmed to the Daily News.
Netflix did not immediately return a request for comment today about the controversy surrounding Macdonald. His show is set to debut on the streaming service Friday.