Update: On SiriusXM’s Howard Stern Show on Wednesday morning Norm clarified that when Jimmy Fallon told him that he was welcome back anytime, but that it would hurt the show for him to appear that night. Macdonald had already been in hair and make up at the time. Norm said Fallon was upset about the decision. Macdonald’s last time on the Tonight Show prior to last night’s planned appearance was on the infamous night Fallon mussed Trump’s hair.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon must still be reeling from the kickback they got for normalizing Donald Trump because they just canceled a comedy legend’s appearance because he gave some opinions that people don’t like.
To be exceedingly clear, this is not a lifetime ban, or at least it isn’t being called a lifetime ban, but Norm was scheduled to appear and now he’s been uninvited so at the very least its a ban…for the time being.
Yes, The Tonight Show canceled Norm Macdonald’s appearance on the show because he said that the MeToo movement had gotten a bit out of hand, thereby proving that things are getting out of hand.
“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.
Have we become too sensitive to hear people out?
The social media and media universe has been absolutely sideways since Macdonald made statements during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that are contrary to the current acceptable vernacular and god knows we can’t even hear commentary that isn’t lock step with everyone else’s thoughts.
In the interview, Norm expressed regret for the current state of social justice in America. He said he was happy to see the #MeToo movement slow down a little bit, and gave the Chris Hardwick story as an example of how one person’s statements could completely derail someone’s career without corroboration or any kind of process. He pointed out that we used to say “one hundred women can’t be lying” and then it quickly became “I believe all women.”
He pointed out that admitting to wrongdoing is a career death sentence. “Admit wrongdoing and you’re finished. And so the only way to survive is to deny, deny, deny. That’s not healthy — that there is no forgiveness. I do think that 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. I know a couple of people this has happened to.”
Incidentally, Norm also stuck up for Jimmy Fallon, saying he has been unfairly criticized. “He is just all about fun and silliness. That’s what his audience wants. And then to be maligned for quote-unquote humanizing Trump. Funny, I thought he was a human. If you have the nominee to be president on your show and he is your guest, then he is your guest. Don’t have him on the show if you don’t want him,” Norm told THR.
Macdonald’s statements can certainly be debated, and there’s plenty of room to point out his failure to fully understand what has given rise to the #MeToo movement and why his statements may have missed the point. But thoughtless statements, and commentary that misses the point used to be a jumping off point to have a conversation. A debate.
What kind of debate can there be if people who disagree with the mob (regardless of whether the mob is right or wrong) need to fear that expressing their thoughts is just too dangerous? How do we expect people to learn?
And if we get to the point where talk shows can’t stomach talk, what do we need them for?
Hannah Gadsby, who has become a leader in the conversation on #MeToo called Macdonald a dickbiscuit.
Maybe Norm is a dickbiscuit for his opinions. But if we shut down conversation before it begins, we’ll all be dickbiscuits.
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.
— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 11, 2018