Multiple networks have dropped Roseanne reruns after the show’s star Roseanne Barr made a racist comment on Twitter on Tuesday. In the wake of the comment ABC, the show’s network, announced it was cancelling original airings of the show. ABC had been airing Roseanne revival episodes since March.
Roseanne’s original-show run was from 1988-1997 and was a number-one-hit show in its time. It’s largely about the experience of the average family living in the heartland of America. After Donald Trump became president, executives at ABC decided to remake the show and give it new life. Original episodes debuted on March 27 to larger than expected audiences.
According to Nielsen, the television ratings measuring service, 18.2 million viewers tuned in to watch the debut of the remake, the largest audience for a comedy broadcast in nearly four years. The vast majority of viewers tuned in to additional episodes in subsequent weeks as well.
Barr, who is a Trump supporter in real life, even got a congratulatory call from the President on the show’s numbers.
That success came crashing down yesterday when Barr tweeted, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” a reference to senior aide to former President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarret.
It is unclear what prompted the tweet.
Afterward, comedienne Wanda Sykes announced she was leaving her position as a consulting producer on show. “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” she tweeted.
Roseanne tweeted an apology soon after. “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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,” she wrote.
But it was not enough. “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” read a statement by ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey.
Disney CEO Robert Iger would say of the decision, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”
Barr’s talent agency, ICM, also announced it was dropping her as a client.
In the wake of ABC’s decision other networks have announced they are going to be dropping reruns of the show’s original run from their lineups. Viacom networks Paramount, TV Land and CMT announced that reruns of the revival will be pulled from the networks starting today.
Streaming network Hulu also announced it would be dropping the revival from its lineup. “We support ABC’s decision and are removing the show from Hulu,” a spokesperson wrote.
The Laff broadcast network also announced it would be dropping reruns it airs on its network of the original series.
“While we believe viewers have always distinguished the personal behavior of the actress Roseanne Barr from the television character Roseanne Connor, we are disgusted by Barr’s comments this week. Therefore, we are removing the original Roseanne series from the Laff schedule for the time being, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.
President Trump took to Twitter this morning to point out what he sees as a double standard in what is considered inappropriate political rhetoric.
“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?” the President wrote.
The White House echoed the sentiments later in the day on Wednesday. “The president is simply calling out the media bias; no one’s defending what she said,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a White House Press Briefing.
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