Racist Rant Sends Barr and Team Packing
A short-lived comeback.
After just returning to television after many years away from the small screen, the hit sitcom Roseanne was just abruptly cancelled by ABC after the show's star, Roseanne Barr let loose on Twitter with a rude and racist tweet.
In her offensive social media moment, Barr tweeted about Barack Obama's former top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, writing, "Jarrett looked like a combination of "Muslim Brotherhood + Planet of the Apes." To exacerbate matters, when folks responded to her comment which they declared wreaked of racism, Barr retorted with ""Muslims r NOT a race" and said her tweet was merely a "joke."
Well, ABC surely wasn't laughing and chose to cancel the show, despite a high-rating season back on television. "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," announced Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment.
Like most Twitter blunders and bad behavior, the "tweeter" usually comes back quickly with an apology – just as Barr did earlier today, before announcing she was leaving the social media platform. She wrote, "I apologize 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."
Fans enjoy Roseanne for it's no-nonsense take on controversial social issues, politics, relationships, and hardships, but racism is never OK, "joking" or not. As a staunch supporter of President Trump on her show and in real life, perhaps Barr should have stepped away from following his less-than-presidential Twitter behavior. Certainly, Barr's co-stars must be as shocked and appalled as the rest of us, let alone properly pissed off that they are now out of a high-paying job.
The woman who Barr referred to in her tweet - Valerie Jarrett - said ABC made the "right call" with their choice to cancel the program during a town hall hosted by MSNBC. "I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense," she said. Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, even called Jarrett personally before making the announcement that Roseanne would be cancelled.
Will another network pick up the beloved show if Barr's apology cuts the mustard? If people can let Trump get away with his Twitter tirades, can a sitcom star get similar treatment? Stay tuned to find out if the show will go on or if Roseanne is ruined forever.
Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, AMC Daycare, and more.
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