ABC cancels 'Roseanne' after Roseanne Barr's racist tweet

Taryn Ryder and Heather Gardner

Roseanne has been canceled by ABC following star Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweet about former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett. Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger confirmed the news on Twitter, voicing support of the network’s decision.

The 65-year-old actress has also been dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners.

“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning. What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency,” the company wrote in an internal note to all employees. “Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”

On Monday evening, Barr responded to a conspiracy thread about reputed “secrets” within former President Barack Obama’s administration and the alleged involvement of his former adviser, Valerie Jarrett, in a cover-up. In a now-deleted tweet, Barr wrote, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

(Photo: Twitter)
(Photo: Twitter)

Many immediately took offense at Barr’s tweet, since Jarrett is an African-American who grew up in Iran. Jarrett has responded to the insult, saying she’s “fine” and called it a “teaching moment.” The Roseanne star initially defended her statement, calling the tweet a “joke.” In another tweet, the actress responded to those calling her racist.

But Barr soon backed down and issued an apology to the former adviser before announcing that she was leaving Twitter.

The apology wasn’t enough to save her show.

Barr is no stranger to controversy these days, primarily regarding her outspoken support of President Trump. Her comments in recent months did little to hurt her brand — in fact, the reboot of her ABC sitcom enjoyed a ratings spike and was picked up for another season.

The cast of the reboot of <i>Roseanne</i>. (Photo: ABC)
The cast of the reboot of Roseanne. (Photo: ABC)

Sara Gilbert, Emma Kenney, and Michael Fishman are a few of Barr’s cast members who have reacted online.

Before the network announced its decision, Wanda Sykes, who served as a consulting producer for the Roseanne reboot, declared that she wouldn’t return for the next season.

Several celebrities — including Barr’s ex-husband, Tom Arnold — have shared their thoughts via Twitter, both before and after ABC’s decision.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, also applauded ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne.

On Tuesday, Jarrett appeared on MSNBC’s town hall Everyday Racism in America. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense. The person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse, or want to cross the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, ‘the talk’ as we call it, and as you say, those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day. I think that’s why I’m so glad to be here this evening talking with all of you.”

She added, “Tone does start at the top, and we like to look up to our President and feel as though he reflects the values of our country. But I also think that every individual citizen has a responsibility too, and it’s up to all of us to push back. Our government is only going to be as good as we make it be. And as Reverend always taught me, you have to be — people on the inside have to push hard and people on the outside have to listen.”

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