Roseanne producer apologizes for “epically racist” Facebook post

(The strike is entering month five)

A recent incident involving a comedy writer’s Facebook post has ignited a debate over sensitivity, humor, and social awareness amidst the ongoing Hollywood strikes.

The situation unfolded on August 9 when a writer posted a comment to mark the 100th day of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. In response, Tim Doyle (Roseanne, The Big Bang Theory, Better Off Ted, Ellen, Sports Night) a well-known writer, producer, and showrunner, shared a meme featuring a black-and-white image that appeared to depict a lynching, sparking outrage and discussions about the boundaries of humor and cultural sensitivity.

According to The Hollywood Reporter which reported the story, the incident took place in a private WGA Facebook group, but the comments were made public after one of the administrators flagged Doyle’s post as “epically horrible, racist, self-martyring.” The comedy writer defended his post as an attempt to find humor about the ongoing strike, specifically about the concept of suicide.

Doyle’s post led to swift condemnation, with Keith Powell, an administrator of the Facebook group and actor best known for his role on 30 Rock, calling it “epically horrible, racist, self-martyring, vile, clueless, out-of-touch, boneheaded, disturbing and toxic.” The situation escalated as the Facebook post was shared on other platforms, drawing further attention from notable industry figures such as Yvette Nicole Brown.

In response, Doyle issued an apology to the Facebook group and privately to Powell, expressing regret and acknowledging the inappropriate nature of the post. According to THR, Powell highlighted that the incident reflects broader issues within the industry and emphasized that the incident is an indication of a system that needs to be addressed and changed.


In an interview, Doyle expressed remorse, explaining that he had chosen an inappropriate image in an attempt to find humor related to the strike. He noted that he was bored at the time and picked the wrong clip art to accompany his Facebook joke. Doyle clarified that his intention was not to hurt or offend anyone and that he simply aimed to contribute a lighthearted element to the discussions surrounding the strike.

The Facebook incident has raised questions about the role of humor in sensitive contexts, particularly within a community that is engaged in labor disputes and discussions about social justice. The incident serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between creative expression, cultural awareness, and the impact of one’s words in the digital age.

For Reel 360 News full coverage of the ongoing strikes click here.

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