August 17, 2022

ABC finally made a decision on fate of “Roseanne” television show

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Roseanne Barr once again found herself embroiled in self-inflicted controversy this morning when she took to Twitter to compare Valerie Jarrett, the black senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, to an ape.


Following the swift backlash, ABC’s president Channing Dungey has announced that the network has decided to cancel the show.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Dungey said.

The move comes on the heels of comments by several involved in the production. Sara Gilbert, who plays the role of “Darlene” on the show, took to Twitter to express her dismay with the show’s lead actor and the overt racism that she has displayed.

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While Gilbert’s remarks may be well-intended, Roseanne is not simply “one cast member,” but the eponymous star around which the entire show revolves. When Roseanne speaks, it is reflective of all those involved in the production– for better or for worse.

Comedian Wanda Sykes, a writer with the official title “consulting producer,” also announced on Twitter that she would be leaving the show.

The surprise exit comes from someone who has had to defend the show’s controversial content in the past.

Per The Hill:

Veteran comedian Sykes was asked in February if “as the world has become more PC” whether the “line for what’s funny on [‘Roseanne’] moved” as well.

“The thing about the Conners is they were a Midwestern family who have limited means, and you don’t see that a lot on TV — except for black people. Black people are allowed to be poor on TV,” Sykes told The Hollywood Reporter with a laugh. “But when the Conners came on, it was like, “Here are real people talking about real problems.”

Roseanne’s slur came in response to an article in SGT Report, which tenuously claimed that “Obama’s CIA also spied on French presidential candidates.” While Jarrett is not specifically identified in the article, a Twitter user mentioned, “Jarrett helped hide a lot,” inciting Barr’s abhorrent comment.

Amid fierce criticism over the since-deleted tweet, Roseanne issued an apology that was met with lukewarm reception.

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Kudos to ABC for standing up for decency and showing those who engage in shamelessly racist behavior that actions do not come without consequences. The Trump-inspired era of shameless tribalism is quickly coming to an end.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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