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Norm Macdonald Says He’s “Happy the #MeToo Movement Has Slowed Down a Little Bit” and a Bunch of Other Terrible Stuff

norm macdonald, louis ck, roseanne barr, me too, #metoo

Norm Macdonald has a new show coming to Netflix this week, which I guess is enough of a reason for major media outlets to ask his opinion on current issues, even though said show is going to be distinctly non-topical. As for whether you’ll actually want to hear those opinions, that’s up to you, but as a warning, they’re probably even worse than you’re expecting.

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Macdonald says that he recently reached out to both Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr and put them in touch with one another. Following her firing from ABC, Barr was “just so broken and just crying constantly.” So she and C.K. had a “good conversation” and Macdonald said they “were just giving any advice you could give to each other. There would be no way for me to even understand that advice, because who has ever gone through such a thing? All their work in their entire life being wiped out in a single day, a moment.”

“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” he said. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”

It’s true, most victims don’t have their careers wiped out in one single day. Instead, they have to battle sexism and racism exhibited by those in positions of power, fight to be taken seriously, and then deal with the traumatic after-effects of the abuse they suffer when all they wanted was to just do their jobs and not, for example, have someone masturbate in front of them at work.

But according to Macdonald, the problem isn’t the men locking women in rooms and forcing them to watch them masturbate or any other form of harassment or assault. The problem is the women speaking out about it.

“I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit,” he said. “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.”

Where to even start with that? Maybe that it shouldn’t take 100 women to bring down a serial sexual predator. Or that no one is saying women can’t lie but that in general, there is nothing to be gained from making a false accusation and much to lose by speaking out against any man, especially one with clout in your shared industry, and that statistically, false accusations are extremely rare so maybe let’s give women the benefit of the doubt before we assume they’re lying. Also, Chris Hardwick is doing just fine, so I don’t know what “stick” we’re even talking about.

Macdonald is operating from that victim-blaming perspective of somehow believing that because so many more women and other survivors are now talking about their experiences with abuse, they must be the cause of that increase in abuse. Except there has been no increase in abuse, only an increase in survivors talking about the experiences they’ve had. The abuse has always been there and for men like Macdonald to treat victims like they are the problem only means they were happier when the issue wasn’t being discussed. It did not mean the issue wasn’t a problem, it just wasn’t their problem, and they miss that.

It’s a perspective that’s backed up by the author of the profile, Seth Abramovitch, who describes C.K.’s career as being “derailed by #MeToo,” rather than by his own actions, which were known about in the comedy world for years and which he himself has admitted to.

But again, if you’re wondering if Norm Macdonald’s opinions are worth listening to in the first place, he also admits in the interview that he didn’t really believe racism was a problem (because Obama) until he watched Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show.

He also says that he hasn’t seen Hannah Gadsby’s brilliant stand-up special Nanette, and then proceeds to talk about why it’s not actually comedy.

And, finally, it didn’t come up in this interview, but it’s always worth remembering that time Macdonald said he wouldn’t do Weekend Update with “a fucking lady.”

Anyway, good luck with your show Norm Macdonald. Your press tour sure is off to a hell of a start.

(image: Eddy Chen / Netflix)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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