The decision to axe the reach sitcom resurgence aims debates over the off-screen bigotry shown by its starring, Roseanne Barr
ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne- after its eponymous superstar compared Valerie Jarrett, a black former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape- send growls through the entertainment industry. Barr’s tweet, in which she also “joked” that Jarrett had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, caused a public outcry, resulting in swift condemnations of Barr from her own casting mates and, ultimately, the network’s unprecedented decision to pull the plug on its ratings juggernaut merely one week after its season finale.
In a statement constructed hours after Barr’s tweets, which quickly prompted calls for the network to discipline her, ABC Entertainment chairwoman Channing Dungey called Roseanne’s post” abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values”, announcing the sitcom would be cancelled. In a tweet, Disney CEO Bob Iger echoed Dungey’s statement and told:” There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing .” Jarrett, who on Tuesday night will serendipitously appear in an MSNBC town hall called ” Everyday Racism in America”, called Barr’s comments a” teach moment “.
The network’s cancellation marks something of a denouement to Barr’s rapid return to the public eye and subsequent fall from grace. It was only a few months ago that Roseanne, which went on a two-decade hiatus before ABC resurrected the series for a 10 th season, earned Donald Trump’s seal of approval following its season premiere, which, with 18 m spectators, was television’s highest-rated comedy telecast in nearly four years.
Barr, a vocal supporter of Trump’s who in February told ABC” we’re lucky to have him as a chairperson “, reportedly even received a congratulatory call from him after the season premiere. Aside from its colossal viewership, critical honors followed the reboot, too. Roseanne was praised for having its finger on the political pulse and harnessing the appeal of the original series, which Barr herself once called” television’s first feminist and working-class sitcom “.
Indeed, the show’s espouse by the political right reflected just how radically its starring had changed her tune since the ninth season finale aired in 1997.” I wrote on the original Roseanne where we used to denounce nativism, racism& homophobia ,” Danny Zuker, the executive heads producer of ABC’s Modern Family, wrote on Twitter Tuesday.” Nauseating to assure what she’s become .”
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