President Trump did exactly what many suspected he would this morning, wading waist-deep into the latest inane battle of the culture war by tweeting about ABC‘s decision to cancel the television show Roseanne after its star, Roseanne Barr, made a stunningly racist comment on Twitter. Over the weekend, Barr said that Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama official, looked like the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”
Shortly after the vile tweet went viral, ABC announced that it would be canceling her show, this despite the fact that it has been a huge commercial success for them. It was undeniably the right decision for the television network, although her history of racism, anti-semitism, and conspiracy peddling should have prevented them from rebooting her sitcom in the first place.
In response to the decision to end Roseanne Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney of which ABC is but one division, tweeted out his support of ABC‘s announcement, calling it the “right thing to do.”
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
Iger’s should have been an uncontroversial, unchallenged tweet. Barr’s racist comments are completely indefensible, and there is no wiggle room. Her tweet cannot be construed as anything other than naked bigotry.
Unfortunately for the country, our president is himself a bigot. Trump decided, as he always does, to make things about himself and took to Twitter to whine that Iger called Valerie Jarett to inform her that Roseanne’s behavior was unacceptable, but never called Trump to apologize for the “HORRIBLE” statements made about him on ABC.
It’s unclear exactly which ABC comments Trump thinks are on par with Roseanne’s overt racism, but likely it was times when the network called him out for his own racism and flagrant mendacity. It’s his usual “fake news” rhetoric, demanding apologies from journalists reporting on him in an unflattering but honest light.
Trump’s tweet is also the latest example of him using a racist dog whistle to rally the worst elements of his base. He doesn’t quite cross the line of throwing his support behind Roseanne’s tweet, but by attacking those attacking her he is signaling to bigots that he supports her. Once again, Trump has shown that he will always choose the side of the hatemongers over the victims.
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018