Norm Macdonald Slammed for Down Syndrome Remark

In explaining #MeToo remarks, he suggests people with condition lack empathy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2018 4:33 AM CDT
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Norm Macdonald hosts the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto.   (Peter Power/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Norm Macdonald attempted to explain his controversial #MeToo comments in an interview with Howard Stern Wednesday—and managed to make things worse. The comedian landed himself in a fresh controversy after insulting people with Down syndrome in an effort to express empathy for victims of sexual misconduct, Yahoo reports. "You'd have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry" for harassment victims, said Macdonald, who'd told the Hollywood Reporter he was glad #MeToo had "slowed down a bit" and that he felt bad for friends like Louis CK, who "lost everything in a day." He told Stern, however, that "#MeToo is what you want for your daughters. You want that to be the future world."

"Down syndrome. That's my new word," Macdonald told Stern. His remarks were met with a fierce backlash on social media. Down syndrome "is not something that prevents someone from having emotion, feeling empathy, or understanding the importance of a movement like #MeToo," tweeted one critic. Macdonald, whose Tonight Show appearance was axed after his #MeToo remarks, has a new show coming to Netflix, called Norm Macdonald Has a Show. In his Stern interview, he called himself a "dumb guy" who got "confused" when interviewers were "asking me about a whole bunch of things at the same time," Rolling Stone reports. He apologized in a tweet for his remarks about Louis CK and Roseanne Barr, saying he would "never defend their actions."

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