Norm Macdonald has a severe case of foot-in-mouth this week.
On Wednesday, the 58-year-old comedian told Howard Stern that “you’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry” for victims of sexual abuse.
The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member made the remark while he was attempting explain controversial comments he made previously to The Hollywood Reporter while discussing his friends Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr ― who each had their careers take major hits because of sexual misconduct and racist remarks, respectively.
“There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” he said in a THR interview published Wednesday. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”
Many thought those comments suggested that Macdonald did not feel empathy for victims of sexual harassment ― or, in the case of Roseanne, victims of racism ― and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” canceled his scheduled appearance on the show.
Macdonald apologized on Twitter for his comments, and told Stern that people misunderstood his remarks. Unfortunately, while attempting to prove he did care about victims, he dug the hole even deeper.
During the discussion, Stern noted that he knew women who were victims of “real bad sexual abuse.”
That’s when Macdonald stated, “You’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry” for those victims. He continued:
Me Too is what you want for your daughters, you know what I mean? You want that to be the future world. I meet all kinds of women that have terrible stories, you know, about what’s happened to them. But I wasn’t talking about the victims. They asked me about Roseanne. They asked me about Chris Hardwick. They asked me about Louis.
He also said that “Down syndrome” was his “new word.”
Stern replied, “Good word.”
But it’s not.
Used in this context, it’s discriminatory and implies that someone with an intellectual disability is less human.
Many on Twitter were offended by the comment.
Earlier in his interview Stern, Macdonald said that he does not like doing print interviews.
“They put things together that you’re saying, and I’m a fucking dumb guy,” he said. “I get confused and shit.”