The ABC television network has canceled the show Roseanne because its star Roseanne Barr had sent out insulting and racist tweets about Valerie Jarrett, a close advisor to Barack Obama when he was president, one of which said “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement.
The cancellation was a shock in Hollywood. The revival of “Roseanne” premiered to huge ratings just three months ago.
Pre-production was already underway on a second season, which was scheduled for Tuesdays at 8 p.m. this fall.
When Barr’s racist tweets caught fire early Tuesday, ABC went silent for several hours.
When asked why ABC ultimately decided to cancel the sitcom, a Disney source said, “It’s a question of right and wrong. And it’s a question of our company’s values.”
Barr is has very right-wing views and had tweeted all manner of pro-Trump conspiracy theories in the past. She is also a flat out racist, having tweeted earlier about former national security advisor Susan Rice “susan rice is a man with big swinging ape balls.” The most recent tweets about Jarrett had caused an uproar and Barr apologized for what she claimed was a joke in poor taste. Ah, yes, the old “It was just a joke” excuse! But surely you know that a racist joke is still racist, right?
Why I am surprised by the cancellation is that her TV show is a big hit and had had huge ratings. Usually money is the major driver of corporate decisions and so I expected ABC to distance itself from her comments while keeping the show.
I have lost count of the number of people whose downfall was caused by tweeting. The medium encourages people to blurt out the first thing that comes into their heads and send it out to all their many followers. It turns out that for many people, the first thing consists of the most deplorable thoughts. Barr has said that she is leaving Twitter, which is just as well, but too late to save her show. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Roseanne.