There are no mincing words for this one. ABC has decided to cancel the Roseanne reboot, after renewing it for season 2. The decision comes after a racist tweet by star Roseanne Barr caused an uproar. More on the story below.
“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 (via THR).
Disney CEO Bob Iger echoed those sentiments in a tweet of his own:
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show." There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
The cancellation follows Barr’s tweet towards Valerie Jarrett, a black woman who once worked for President Barack Obama. “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” she wrote in the now-deleted Twitter post.
Barr is no stranger to controversy. She often used social media to share conspiracy theories, including Pizzagate. She’s also an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump. After the initial tweet went viral for the wrong reasons, Barr apologized. The tweet has since been deleted. In a half-assed apology, Barr said the tweet was a joke and she didn’t mean to attack Jarrett’s looks. However, the events that followed showed the kinds of repercussions that can come from an ignorant tweet. Wanda Sykes, who served as a consulting producer on Roseanne, exited the show after Barr’s tweet went public.
Even fellow co-star Sara Gilbert denounced Barr’s tweet with a tweet of her own:
Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.
Then when Roseanne was canceled, Gilbert expressed her disappointment because of the actions of one person:
This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love”” one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.
While Disney knew what they were getting into by hiring Barr, there is no denying the success the show has brought. It was one of the highest rated shows on television. Even for a mid-season debut and a nine-episode run, Roseanne was rewarded with a second season. However, Barr’s tweet crossed a line and Disney’s decision to ax the show proves that they weren’t willing to put up with her actions any longer.
I can’t say that the cancellation affects me in any way. For one thing, I never watched the original or reboot. But I recognize that it does have a fanbase and its premise relates more to the everyday blue collar person than any other show. With that said, there is no getting past Barr’s “abhorrent” statements.
We’ll just have to wait and see what Disney and ABC’s next move is and what show they will replace Roseanne with.