ABC has just pulled the plug on the number-one show on television, cancelling “Roseanne” after Roseanne Barr let loose a racial Tweet on social-media. Barr, who was both a co-creator and star of the series, targeted a former adviser to President Obama and has frequently been a target of Right Wing media.
The subject of the Tweet was Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to Obama who is also black. Barr said in her Tweet that Jarrett was the result of “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Fury about the Tweet, and it’s obnoxiously racist comparison, came quick on social-media and from the network.
The decision to turn a blind-eye or take down the show was left to ABC, and its consequences are harsh. “Rosanne” was the highest-rated series last year following its big debut, and the show was the jeweled centerpiece of ABC’s upfront presentation earlier this Spring.
Barr first said the Tweet was simply “a joke,” and that it was not intended to be racist. Barr then told followers “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people.”
Barr did not mention, or even try to defend, the “Planet of the Apes” comparison; which is one of the most horrific things she said during her first “joke”.
Soon after her second barrage of Tweets, Barr deleted the initial Tweet about Ms. Valerie Jarrett. Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on “Roseanne” this season, told her followers that she would not return to the show following the remarks. As fellow co-stars damned Barr’s Tweet, Barr then Tweeted a short apology.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr wrote on Twitter. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste.”
Barr then decided that she would “leave” Twitter, but it was too late.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC’s entertainment president, Channing Dungey, said in a statement to the press.
Guest stars on the first rebooted season included Estelle Parsons as Beverly Harris, Sandra Bernhard as Nancy Bartlett, Natalie West as Crystal Anderson, James Pickens Jr. as Chuck Mitchell and Adilah Barnes as Anne Marie Mitchell. Additionally, Christopher Lloyd guest starred as Bev’s boyfriend, Lloyd.