Barr was involved in a Twitter conversation yesterday, where she called the ex-Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett as the “baby” of the “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.” It was obvious that Barr instantly faced criticism from other Twitter users. Although Barr said that she was joking, a lot of people, including the ABC executives took offense of it.
Soon after Barr’s tweet, Channing Dungey, the President of ABC Entertainment issued a public statement.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
This was a shocking and quite a swift step from ABC, as they announced the show’s cancellation only a few hours after Barr’s tweet. Barr proceeded to apologize almost as soon as she made the comment, and frantically tried winning back her fans and co-workers. This is what she said.
“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.”
Soon after that, Barr made another apology and declared that she is going to leave Twitter. Even after the announcement, her Twitter account stayed active, and people wonder whether she was indeed apologetic about her statement or she was just trying to sort things out.
A while after Barr’s tweet, comedian Wanda Sykes, who has been the co-executive producer on the show since its return earlier in the year, declared that she would exit the show. This preceded ABC’s cancellation and could have been instrumental in ABC deciding to cancel the show.
Sara Gilbert has played Darlene in more than 200 episodes of Roseanne, and she expressed her dismay at Roseanne Barr’s comments, terming them “abhorrent” and also stating that Barr’s comments were not reflective of the others from either the cast or crew.
Since Roseanne’s comeback, many fans of the original show were stunned by the tone of the show featuring Roseanne with viewpoints which are generally not a part of TV sitcoms. Although this brought attention to the series and many people were happy to see their opinions being included in the series, others felt that it crossed the limits. Further, it is not the first occasion when Roseanne Barr has created a social media controversy since her comeback, so it is also possible that the cancellation had been in the works for a while.
There is no doubt that a lot of people are unhappy to see Roseanne get scrapped, it is the right call by ABC. The comments Roseanne Barr made on social media were unacceptable, and her history is proof that it wasn’t a one-off incident.