Roseanne Barr's Latest Racist Tweet Just Got Her Show Canceled
The straw to break the camel's back has just landed.
The reboot of ABC's Roseanne has been canceled following a racist tweet posted by Roseanne Barr, the notoriously outspoken, conservative, Trump-supporting actress for whom the show is named.
ABC issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon: "Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
The "repugnant" tweet in question connected former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who was born in Iran and is black, to the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie Planet of the Apes. In a thread about the advisor, Barr called out Jarrett using her initials: "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."
Following the blowback for the racist tweet, Barr attempted to save face, calling her comment “a joke” and tweeting, “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people." The explanation did not, however, acknowledge the Planet of the Apes reference and the fact that she had compared a black woman to an ape.
Later, she deleted the original tweet and issued a more straightforward apology. “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she wrote. “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.” Barr also said she is leaving Twitter.
Immediately following the tweets, several members of Hollywood called on ABC to take action. Legendary comedienne Wanda Sykes, who served as a writer and consulting producer, announced that she would be quitting the show—but it looks like ABC beat her to the punch. (Earlier this month, co-showrunner Whitney Cummings also announced that she was not returning to the show for season 2, however her reason for leaving was scheduling conflicts.)
Meanwhile, Patricia Arquette and Barr's Roseanne co-star Sarah Gilbert also denounced Barr's commentary.
Rosesanne opened to record-busting ratings when it debuted earlier this year, with 18 million viewers tuning in to the relaunch. The show's successful debut even elicited a congratulatory phone call to Barr from President Trump himself. However, that number deflated to 10 million by the time the finale aired.
According to Variety the show was TV's highest-rated program in the 18-49 demo for the 2017-2018 broadcast season. In March, it was announced that the show would be renewed for a second season—the series's eleventh overall.
The show has not been without critics, however, many of whom challenged a joke about sitcoms starring families of color.
From the get-go, viewers were wary that Barr’s notoriously conservative politics and proclivity for perpetuating lies—including one she tweeted just earlier today involving Chelsea Clinton—would create problems for ABC. The network's decision to cancel the show sets a new precedent for how actors' behavior can and will influence their work, regardless of the numbers.