May 25, 2022

Roseanne just got what she deserves over racist Twitter attack on Obama adviser

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

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

Per The Hill:

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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.

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

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Disney, which owns ABC, the network that airs Roseanne, has yet to comment on her racist slur. Ironically, Disney quickly suspended SportsCenter host Jemele Hill for suggesting a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced that players who failed to stand during the national anthem would be benched. Disney was also quick to cancel an episode of Black-ish featuring a debate about NFL players kneeling. And yet, the network is dragging its feet with Roseanne despite an ongoing barrage of controversial statements.

While ABC has been deafeningly silent on Barr’s abhorrent commentary, Sykes’ announcement is evidence that in an industry driven by its bottom line, some integrity remains.

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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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