SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch - Freeze Warning - Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

ABC Cancels 'Roseanne' Following Star's Racist Tweet

ABC has cancelled its hit reboot of 'Roseanne' following her racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Posted: May 29, 2018 11:09 AM
Updated: May 29, 2018 2:47 PM

By DAVID BAUDER , AP Media Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC canceled its hit reboot of "Roseanne" on Tuesday following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet that referred to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the "Planet of the Apes."

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said the comment "is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values." Barr had apologized and deleted her Monday-night tweet, calling it a "bad joke," but the damage had already been done.

Barr was also dumped by her talent agency, ICM Partners.

The revival of the comedy was a surprise smash for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., and was counted on to lead the network's fortunes next season. Its first new episode in March was seen by more than 25 million people, with delayed viewing counted in, numbers that are increasingly rare in network television. ABC expected advertisers to pay millions of dollars for the chance to be seen during commercial breaks on television's most popular comedy after "The Big Bang Theory."

And it was all killed in a 53-character tweet.

One of the few network shows about a working-class family, "Roseanne" attracted considerable attention upon its return when Barr's character supported President Donald Trump. That made the show popular with conservative viewers, and Trump himself suggested the character's backing had a lot to do with the show's success.

Barr herself has a history of diving into political conspiracy theories on her Twitter feed, and she ended her Memorial Day weekend with a series of statements. She criticized Democratic financier George Soros and tweeted that Chelsea Clinton was "Chelsea Soros Clinton," implying she was married to a nephew of Soros. Clinton herself corrected Barr online. Donald Trump Jr. retweeted two of Barr's statements about Soros, although not the remark about Jarrett.

Jarrett, who is black, was brought up in response to Twitter commentary that raised her name in relation to an Obama conspiracy theory. Barr tweeted: "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."

She later tweeted an apology to Jarrett. "Forgive me," she wrote. "My joke was in bad taste."

Jarrett, who appeared at the taping of an MSNBC show about racism on Tuesday, said she hoped the incident could be turned into a teaching moment.

"I'm fine," she said. "I'm worried about the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense."

Barr was quickly condemned. Comic Wanda Sykes, a "Roseanne" writer, tweeted that she wouldn't be returning to the show. Sara Gilbert, a co-star, also tweeted that the remark was abhorrent.

It was a quick decision at ABC for Dungey, who is the first African-American to serve as programming chief for one of the major broadcast networks, and her boss, network president Ben Sherwood. Disney chief executive Robert Iger tweeted his approval: "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."

Three weeks earlier, "Roseanne" was the toast of ABC's annual presentation of its programming plans to advertisers. Sherwood even joked then: "If anyone came to play a drinking game based on how many times we mention 'Roseanne,' you're welcome."

"Roseanne" earned an estimated $45 million in advertising revenue for ABC through its nine episodes that started airing in March, according to Kantar Media. The firm estimates that the 13 episodes that had been ordered for next season would have brought in as much as $60 million, with more through repeat episodes.

The cancellation has no clear precedent in television history, said David Bianculli, professor at Rowan University in New Jersey. The closest analogy is CBS pulling the plug on the Smothers Brothers variety show due to their anti-war views in the late 1960s and the same network not renewing "Lou Grant" at its peak, which star Ed Asner always contended was due to his outspoken political beliefs.

"Roseanne Barr's comments were appalling and reminiscent of horrific time in our history when racism was not only acceptable but promoted by Hollywood," said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO. "We applaud ABC for taking a stand against racism by canceling 'Roseanne.' We commend the network and ... Dungey for placing the values of diversity, inclusion and respect for humanity above ratings."

Barr got what she deserved, said Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit ABC shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal."

"As I tell my 4-year-old, one makes a choice with one's actions," Rhimes tweeted. "Roseanne made a choice. A racist one. ABC made a choice. A human one."

ICM dropped Barr within hours of the cancellation, saying in a statement that the agency was "greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable" tweet. Bruce Helford, executive producer of "Roseanne," said he was "personally horrified and saddened by the comments and in no way do they reflect the values of the people who worked so hard to make this the iconic show that it is."

___

AP writers Mark Kennedy, Jocelyn Noveck and Leanne Italie in New York and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 57°
Brookings
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Crater Lake
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 36°
Grants Pass
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 54°
Klamath Falls
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 36°
Another cold start to Friday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Thursday, October 22nd Evening Weather

Image

False FEMA Claims

Image

In the Kitchen: Zucchini Lasagna

Image

In the Kitchen: Chicken Stir Fry

Image

Pet of the Week: Soda Pop and Cherry

Image

Thursday, October 22 afternoon weather

Image

Fire District 3 Community Care Response Unit

Image

OSF costume sales

Image

Thursday, October 22 morning weather

Image

Two-thirds of 'Right of Entry' forms signed, deadline on October 23