Norm Macdonald Talks Netflix's Response To His Controversial Comments

norm macdonald has a show netflix
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Netflix)

Norm Macdonald is only days away from debuting his brand new Netflix talk show, but the buzz he's currently generating has him in some hot water. In a recent interview, Macdonald dropped some controversial comments about the #MeToo movement as well as actors Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K. that resulted in a backlash that got him cancelled from an appearance on The Tonight Show. The big question became how Netflix would react to the controversial comments and whether Norm Macdonald Has a Show would be impacted. Although Netflix hasn't released an official statement just yet, Macdonald shared the streaming giant's response, saying this:

[Chief content officer] Ted Sarandos was the greatest. He is one of the greatest people to ever come into my life. He knows I am a good person. Ted said, 'We don't want to hear legalese. Write your own thing.'

According to Norm Macdonald in comments on The Howard Stern Show, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos didn't tell him how he had to phrase his apology on social media. Rather than choosing how and when Macdonald reached out in the aftermath of his controversial comments, Netflix evidently allowed Macdonald to share his own response in his own words. Given that the uproar was not what the streaming giant probably wanted ahead of Macdonald's show's premiere, the leeway regarding his public statement may surprise some.

On the one hand, a statement clearly written by Norm Macdonald himself could have the sort of genuine phrasing that convinces potential viewers that they should tune in to his new series despite how they do or do not feel about the controversial comments. On the other hand, a statement penned by folks at Netflix would cover all the bases the streaming service would want covered. Netflix ultimately went with allowing Macdonald to go with his own message.

Norm Macdonald addressed the comments that struck many as sympathetic to Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K. despite their very public falls from grace via a Twitter post:

Only time will tell if Norm Macdonald's Twitter apology will win folks on social media over to give his show a shot. The apology itself is diplomatic and not nearly as controversial as his previous comments. That said, more of what he said in his chat with Howard Stern may result in even more backlash. While he asserted his support for the #MeToo movement to Stern, he went on to state that a person would "have to have Down syndrome" not to feel sorry for the victims who have spoken out as part of the movement.

This is hardly the first time Netflix has faced controversy regarding one of its shows. This summer's decision to renew 13 Reasons Why after a deeply divisive second season didn't go over well with everybody, and a huge number of people felt that one of the streaming service's new shows was fat-shaming. Netflix stood by Insatiable, and Netflix may continue to stand by Norm Macdonald Has a Show, which is set to premiere in Netflix's lineup on Friday, September 14 at 12:01 a.m. PT.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).