ABC canceled the Roseanne reboot after the show’s creator and star Roseanne Barr tweeted startlingly racist comments about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday morning. The network announced the sitcom’s cancellation shortly after Barr tweeted an apology “to Valerie Jarrett and all Americans” for making “a bad joke about her politics and her looks.”
Barr apologized for a now deleted tweet about Jarrett, a black woman, which read: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” “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 to CNN.
Shortly after Barr tweeted the remarks about Jarrett, and bizarre comments about right-wing conspiracy lightning rod George Soros at Chelsea Clinton, Roseanne consulting producer Wanda Sykes announced that she was no longer working on the show, which proved to be a ratings boon for the network and was in pre-production for a second season.
Sara Gilbert, who played Barr’s TV daughter Darlene, distanced herself from Barr with a statement expressing disappointment in Barr’s tweets.
Barr is an emphatic Trump supporter who wrote that aspect of her personality into her working class sitcom counterpart. After the reboot’s premiere, President Trump called her to congratulate her on the ratings. From the New York Times:
Among those celebrating was President Trump, who called Ms. Barr to congratulate her on the “huge” ratings. On Thursday, he gave a shout-out to the Emmy-winning star during a rally in Ohio.
“Look at Roseanne! Look at her ratings!” President Trump told the crowd of union workers, adding: “They were unbelievable! Over 18 million people! And it was about us!”
Right-wing pundits praised the show as a mic-drop moment for conservatives weary of being portrayed unflatteringly or ignored altogether on network shows. On Fox News, Sean Hannity congratulated her on her “massive audience,” and Laura Ingraham approvingly played a “Roseanne” clip, saying, “Funny what can happen when Hollywood makes programming that’s not condescending toward half the country.”
Trump is scheduled to appear at a rally in Nashville on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn tonight, and it will be interesting to see if he has anything to say about one of his biggest celebrity supporters getting axed from primetime over sentiments his son Donald Trump Jr. retweeted.
Update (3:25 p.m.): Talent Agency ICM announced that it will no longer represent Barr.