- ABC canceled the revival of “Roseanne” hours after its star, Roseanne Barr, sent a racist tweet comparing former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
- “Roseanne” has been the most popular TV show of the year, with 23.2 million average viewers, according to Nielsen.
- However, Barr’s controversial tweets, which have veered from racism to support of far-right conspiracy theories, had cast a shadow over the show.
Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweets have finally shown some serious consequences. ABC announced Tuesday it had canceled the “Roseanne” revival following a tweet by Barr that likened former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
“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.
“There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC parent company Disney,added via Twitter.
The revival of “Roseanne” garnered huge ratings for ABC for its premiere in March and was picked up for another season immediately. The ratings impressed President Donald Trump so much that he called Barr to congratulate her on them personally. The strong ratings continued through the season and “Roseanne” has been the most popular show of the year so far, with 23.2 million average viewers, according to Nielsen.
But Barr’s controversial statements on Twitter cast a shadow over the show. These tweets have varied from racism to supporting far-right conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, but were largely ignored publicly by the network until Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Barr tweeted in response to a comment that accused Jarrett of hiding misdeeds from the Obama administration. “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr wrote, characterising Jarrett, an African-American woman born in Iran, as a child of the Muslim Brotherhood and an ape.
Twitter users immediately called out the racism in Barr’s comment, and many questioned ABC’s decision to keep her show on the air.
In response to the criticism, Barr first defended herself, saying, “Muslims r not a race.”
Later, Barr apologised, tweeting: “I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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.”
It was not enough, and as the uproar continued Tuesday, ABC made the decision to cancel the show.
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