Following his controversial comments on the #MeToo movement, comedian and actor Norm Macdonald is facing even more backlash.
In an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, Macdonald expanded on his #MeToo commentary and denied having ever defended Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr — both of whom have been the centers of controversies lately — but ultimately ended up sparking even more backlash after an offensive remark about those with Down syndrome.
“I am completely behind the #MeToo movement,” Macdonald said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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. And I meet all kinds of women with terrible stories of what’s happened to them. So, I wasn’t talking about the victims. They asked me about Roseanne.”
Macdonald also denied having ever stuck up for Louis C.K. and Barr, commenting, “I never defended them.”
The “Saturday Night Live” alum, 58, sparked an online firestorm earlier this week after telling THR that he was “happy” that the #MeToo movement had “slowed down” and suggesting that there was not enough forgiveness in the entertainment industry. Though he later issued an apology via Twitter, his comments have already had an effect on his career, with NBC canceling his scheduled appearance on Tuesday’s episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” “out of sensitivity to our audience.”
Macdonald’s attempts at clarifying his earlier statements have been met with even more criticism. The Arc, an organization that advocates for the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, responded to Macdonald’s comments in a press release on Wednesday, calling the situation “disheartening.”
“What is particularly disturbing about Norm Macdonald's comment is that in his attempt to explain away his insensitivity to the #MeToo movement, he chose to mock a group of people who have a much greater understanding of victimization than he does,” reads their statement.
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are seven times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than those without disabilities,” their statement continued. “Mr. Macdonald’s comment is doubly offensive and shows his ignorance about the disability community. We welcome the opportunity to educate Mr. Macdonald about the disability rights movement and hope that in the future he will show more respect for millions of people with disabilities, their families, and all victims of sexual assault.”
Macdonald has yet to comment publicly on this latest round of controversy.
[Photo: Norm MacDonald arrives at the 2015 NBCUniversal Summer press day held at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on April 2, 2015 in Pasadena, California. By Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty Images]