ABC has abruptly canceled Roseanne Barr’s hit comedy series revival following a morning in which the star launched a tirade of racist and anti-semitic tweets.
“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, the first African American executive to lead a US broadcast network, just announced.
All references to the show already have been removed from ABC’s press site.
Barr’s family sitcom – the biggest success story of the 2017-18 TV season – had been picked up for a second season after only one episode, which clocked record ratings. Roseanne was the highest-rated and most watched freshman series of the 2017-18 season and ranked No. 2 overall among all entertainment programs in total viewers (17.82 million in Live+7) and in the adults 18-49 demographic (5.0 rating).
It also was ABC’s highest-rated series and cornerstone of the network’s upfront presentation earlier this month, which was opened by Barr (pictured above).
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr tweeted. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”ABC’s cancellation announcement came hours after Barr announced she was “leaving” Twitter – again – after apologizing for calling former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett an offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Barr came back to Twitter about five minutes later to expand on her apology.
She has not tweeted anything since.
Jarrett has not responded, which CNN calls “taking the high road” but we call it a likely decision to hold off, having, in one of those incredible coincidences, previously been booked to appear tonight in an MSNBC town hall about racism in America – ratings on which are now likely to spike:
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 29, 2018
In her initial tweet about Jarrett, Barr referred to her as “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” It was in response to a tweet referencing a Wikileaks claim that the CIA during Obama’s term in office spied on French presidential candidates.
In response to expected blowback, Barr said her tweet was a “joke” and responded to claims that her tweet was racist by replying, “Muslims r not a race.” Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran to American parents. Barr’s tweet has been deleted.
Shortly after Barr’s apology, Wanda Sykes announced her resignation from Roseanne, on which the prominent African-American comic had been a key writer/consulting producer:
Roseanne co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert, who was the driving force behind the revival, also distanced herself and the show’s cast and crew from Barr’s “abhorrent” comments, with her followup tweet hinting at the hit comedy’s pending demise.
The tirade about Jarrett was only one of Barr’s offensive tweets this morning. She had kicked off her day tweeting that Chelsea Clinton is married to George Soros’ nephew…
Chelsea Soros Clinton
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
…and, when Clinton responded:
Good morning Roseanne – my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world. Have a great day! https://t.co/mXokiTEwN7
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 29, 2018
CORRECTION: CHELSEA CLINTON IS NOT MARRIED TO A SOROS NEPHEW. HER HUSBAND IS THE SON OF A CORRUPT SENATOR, SO SORRY!:
Roseanne also noted, “By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?”
Soros was born in 1930.
Today’s tweets aren’t even the first time Barr has called an African-American woman an ape. In 2013, she called Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice “a man with big swinging ape balls.”