Roseanne’s racist tweet leads to cancellation

Looks like Roseanne and the Connors are leaving the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. Again.

It’s been quite the whirlwind 3 months for actress/comedienne Roseanne Barr. The revival of her sitcom Roseanne debuted to huge ratings on ABC, waking networks up to the idea that there is a conservative audience thirsty for entertainment. But after a bizarre and racist tweet attacking Valerie Jarrett, a black former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, ABC has canceled its hit sitcom. This comes from CNN.

The furor began when the outspoken Trump-supporting star launched a firestorm by writing of Jarrett: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Jarrett was born in Iran and is African-American.

roseannevalerie
Barr compared Jarrett to an ape

Barr initially responded to criticism suggesting the remark was a “joke.” In an earlier tweet, the actress appeared to defend her statement. “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people.”

In an earlier tweet, the actress appeared to defend her statement. "ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people," she wrote.

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However, critics immediately slammed Barr’s remark as racist. Likening black people to apes is an attack commonly used by racists and white supremacists. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, is an Islamist political group.

“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.

Barr quickly issued an apology tweet.

roseanne apology

But that wasn’t enough for some of Barr’s colleagues. One of the show’s consulting producers, Wanda Sykes, said she’s done with the show. “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” Sykes tweeted.

Wanda Sykes

And Sara Gilbert, who plays Barr’s daughter on the ABC sitcom, tweeted that Barr’s comments are “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”

Sara Gilbert

Barr also made comments on Twitter Tuesday about Chelsea Clinton, tweeting, “Chelsea Soros Clinton.” She later replied in the comments that Clinton is “married to Soros nephew.” Soros is a billionaire liberal benefactor who has been the subject to many right-wing conspiracy theories over the years.

That Twitter will get you every time.

Pre-production was already underway on a second season, which was scheduled for Tuesdays at 8 p.m. this fall.

UPDATE

The Wrap is reporting that Barr’s agency ICM Partners has now separated ties with her. Also, according to The Wrap, Viacom is planning to pull Roseanne reruns from its Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT channels.

The syndication schedule change, which follows ABC’s cancellation of the popular series recent revival, will go into effect tomorrow.

 
Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.

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